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Fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh ; Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy ; of the 
Royal Society of Sciences of Denmark ; of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Berlin ; of the Royal Academy of 
Naples ; of the Geological Society of France ; Honorary Member of the Asiatic Society of Calcutta ; Fellow of 
the Royal Linnean, and of the Geological Societies of London ; of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, and 
of the Cambridge Philosophical Society; of the Antiquarian, Wernerian Natural History, Royal Medical, Royal 
Physical, and Horticultural Societies of Edinburgh ; of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland ; of 
the Antiquarian and Literary Society of Ferth ; of the Statistical Society of Glasgow ; of the Royal Dublin 
Society; of the York, Bristol, Cambrian, Whitby, Northern, and Cork Institutions; of the Natural History So- 
ciety of Northumberland, Durham, and Newcastle ; of the Imperial Pharmaceutical Society of Petersburgh ; of 
the Natural History Society of Wetterau ; of the Mineralogical Society of Jena ; of the Royal Mineralogical So- 
ciety of Dresden ; of the Natural History Society of Paris ; of the Philomathic Society of Paris ; of the Natural 
History Society of Calvados ; of the Senkenberg Society of Natural History ; of the Society of Natural Sciences 
and Medicine of Heidelberg ; Honorary Member of the Literary and Philosophical Society of New York ; of 
the New York Historical Society ; of the American Antiquarian Society ; of the Academy of Natural Sciences of 
Philadelphia ; of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York ; of the Natural History Society of Montreal ; of 
the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania for the Promotion of the Mechanical Arts ; of the Geological 
Society of Pennsylvania ; of the Boston Society of Natural History of the United States ; of the South African 
Institution of the Cape of Good Hope ; Honorary Member of the Statistical Society of France ; Member of the 
Entomological Society of Stettin, &c. &c. &c. 

APRIL 1853 OCTOBER 1853. 






f DrVBCRQ il 


Art. I. Biography of the celebrated Geologist, Baron Leopold 

von Buch. By M. Noggerath, . . 1 

II. On Pendulum Observations. By Alex. Gerard, 

Esq., Aberdeen. Communicated by the Author, . 14 

III. Synopsis of Meteorological Observations made at the 
Observatory, Whitehaven, Cumberland, in the year 
1852. By John Fletcher Miller, Esq., F.R.S., 
F.R.A.S., Assoc. Inst. C.E., &c. Communicated 
by the Author, . . . .17 

IV. The Rain-Gauge ; the most efficient Form, Size, and 
Position. Deduced from Experiments with many 
Gauges, during several years. By Mr James 
Straton, Aberdeen. Communicated by the Author. 
(With a Plate), . . . .36 

V. The Royal Observatory of Scotland, . . 49 

VI. Facts respecting the Laws which regulate the Distri- 
bution of Rivers, and the Principal Watersheds of 
the Earth. By William Rhind, Esq. Communi- 
cated by the Author, . . . .56 



VII. On the Discovery of a Frog in New Zealand. By 
Arthur Saunders Thomson, M.D., Surgeon 58th 
Regiment. Communicated by the Author for the 
Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, . . 66 

VIII. On the Mollusca of the British Seas. By Professor 

Edward Forbes, . . . .69 

IX. An Account of the Fish River Bush, South Africa ; 
with a Description of the Quadrupeds that inhabit 
it. By Mr W. Black, Staff Assistant-Surgeon. 
Communicated by the Author, . . .72 

X. Singular Irridescent Phenomenon seen on Windermere 
Lake, October 24, 1851. By J. F. Miller, Esq. 
Communicated by the Author, . . .83 

XI. On the Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. (Continued 

from vol. liv., p. 323), . . .85 

XII. On the Eyeless Animals of the Mammoth Cave of 
Kentucky. (Read before the Royal Physical Society, 
on exhibiting Specimens of the Animals.) By 
Robert Chambers, F.R.S.E. Communicated by 
the Author, . . . . .107 

XIII. Analyses of Fossil Bones of Nebraska, . . 109 

XIV. Note on the Eruption of Mauna Loa. By James D. 

Dana. Communicated by the Author, . .111 

XV. Description of the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky, . 119 

XVI. On the Annual Variation of the Atmospheric Pres- 
sure in different parts of the Globe. By Prof. H. 
W. Dove. Communicated by Colonel Sabine, . 123 



XVII. On the Determination of Copper and Nickel in quan- 
titative analysis. By David Forbes, F.G.S., Ass. 
Inst. C.E., Espedalen, Norway. Communicated by 
the Author, . . . . .131 

XVIII. On the Origin of Slaty Cleavage. By Henry Clif- 
ton Sorby, F.G.S. Communicated by the Author, 137 

XIX. On the Determination of the Figure and Dimensions 

of the Globe. By Colonel Sabine, . . 148 

XX. On the Distribution of Heat at the Surface of the 

Sun. By Professor Secchi, . . .150 

XXI. On the Mean Density of the Superficial Crust of the 

Earth By M. Plana, • . .152 

XXII. Lieutenant Maury's Plan for Improving Navigation ; 
with Remarks on the Advantages arising from the 
Pursuit of Abstract Science. Extracted from Lord 
Wrottesley's Speech in the House of Lords, on 26th 
April 1853, . . . . .154 

XXIII. Observations on the Arctic Relief Expeditions. By 

Augustus Petermann, Esq., . . .159 

XXIV. A Description of Lunar Volcanoes. By Professor 
Secchi, ..... 161 

XXV. Livingston's Researches in South Africa, . 164 

XXVI. On the Crystalline Form of the Globe. By M. de 

Hauslab, . . . . .165 

XXVII. On the Classification of Mammalia. By Charles 

Girard, of Washington, . . .167 


XXVIII. On the Reproduction of the Toad and Frog without 
the intermediate stage of Tadpole. By Edward 
Joseph Lowe, Esq., . . . 184 

XXIX. Scientific Intelligence : — 


I. Relation between the Spots on the Sun and Mag- 
netic Needle. 2. On the Periodic Return of the 
Solar Spots. 3. Lunar Atmospheric Tide, 186 


4. Evaporation and Condensation. 5. The Amount 

of Oxygen in the World, . '187 


6. Wohler on the Passive State of Meteoric Iron. 
7. Crystallisation of Glass. 8. On Diopside and 
Molybdate of Lead, Furnace Products. 9. For- 
mation of Arragonite, Calc-spar, Brochantite, 
and Malachite. 10. On the Artificial Formation 
of Malachite, . . . 188, 189 


II, The Effect of very Low Temperature on Vege- 
tation. 12. Sleep of Plants in the Arctic 
Regions, . . . 191 


13. Professor Agassiz on the Colour of Animals, 

14. The Tsetse, or Zimb, of South Africa, . 192 


For the formula on p. 379, line 11, vol. liv., substitute the fol 
lowing : — 




Art. I, Indications of Glacial Action in North Wales. By 
Sir Walter C. Trevelyan. In a Letter ad- 
dressed to Professor Jameson, . . .193 

II. On the Mammalia of the Fish River Bush, South 
Africa, with notices of their Habits. By Mr 
William Black, Staff Assistant-Surgeon. Com- 
municated by the Author, . . . .195 

III. On the discovery of some Fossil Reptilian Remains 

and a Land-Shell in the interior of an erect Fossil- 
Tree in the Coal Measures of Nova Scotia ; with 
remarks on the origin of Coal-fields, and the time 
required for their formation. By Sir C. Lyell, 
F.R.S., . . . . . . . 215 

IV. Some Observations on Fish, in relation to Diet. By 

John Davy, M.D., F.R.S., Lond. & Edin., In- 
spector-General of Army Hospitals, &c. Com- 
municated by the Author, . . . .225 

1. Nutritive power of Fish, .... 225 

2. Peculiar Qualities of Fish as Articles of Diet, 228 

V. On the Identity of Structure of Plants and Animals. 
By Thomas H. Huxley, Esq., F.R.S. Read be- 
fore the Royal Institution, . . . .234 



Art. VI. On Changes of Level in the Pacific Ocean. By J. 

D. Dana, Esq., 240 

Evidences of Elevation, ..... 240 

Evidences of Subsidence, . . . . 240 

Probable evidence of Subsidence now in progress, 241 

Subsidences indicated by atolls and barrier reefs, 242 

Elevations of Modern Eras in the Pacific, . 258 

VII. On Some New Points in British Geology. By Pro- 
fessor Edward Forbes, President of the Geologi- 
cal Society. Communicated by the Author, . 263 

VIII. On the question whether Temperature determines the 
distribution of Marine Species of Animals in depth. 
By James D. Dana, Esq., .... 267 

IX. On the identity of a Colouring Matter present in 
Animals with the Chlorophyle. By M. Max. 
Schultze of Greifswald, . . . .271 

X. On the Classification of Rocks. By M. Dumont, . 272 

XI. Causes of Phosphorescence, . . . . 274 

XII. Dr Daubeny and Professor Bunsen of Heidelberg on 

Volcanoes, ....... 276 

XIII. On the Discovery and Analysis of a Medicinal Mineral 

Water at Helwan, near Cairo. (In a Letter to 
Professor Jameson, from Leonard Horner, Esq., 
F.R.S.L. & E., and F.G.S.), .... 284 

XIV. The Transition from Animals to Plants, . . 290 

XV. A few Remarks on Currents in the Arctic Seas. By 

P. C. Sutherland, M.D., . . . .292 

XVI. Recent Researches of Professor Agassiz, . . 295 



Art. XVII. On the Paleeohydrography and Orography of the 
Earth's Surface, or the probable position of Waters 
and Continents, as well as the probable Depths of 
Seas, and the absolute Heights of the Continents 
and their Mountain-Chains during the different geo- 
logical periods. By M. Ami Boue'. Communi- 
cated by the Author, . . . . .298 

XVIII. On Animal and Vegetable Fibre, as originally 
composed of Twin Spiral Filaments, in which every 
other structure has its origin : a Note shewing the 
confirmation by Agardh, in 1852, of Observations 
recorded in the Philosophical Transactions for 1842. 
By Martin Barry, M.D., F.R.S.E. Communi- 
cated by the Author, . . . . .317 

XIX. On the Penetration of Spermatozoa into the Interior 
of the Ovum : a Note, shewing this to have been 
recorded as an Established Fact, in the Philosophi- 
cal Transactions for 1843. By Martin Barry, 
M.D., F.R.S.E, (Read before the Royal Society 
of London, March 17, 1853). Communicated by 
the Author, ....... 326 

XX. Researches in Embryology : a Note supplementary to 
Papers published in the Philosophical Transactions 
for 1838, 1839, and 1840, shewing the confirma- 
tion of the principal facts there recorded, and point- 
ing out a correspondence between certain Structures 
connected with the Mammiferous Ovum and other 
Ova. By Martin Barry, M.D., F.R.S., F.R.S.E. 
Communicated by the Author, . . . 327 

XXI. On the Colour of Hair. By Dr Allen Dalzell. 

Communicated by the Author, . . ,329 



Art. XXII. Some Account of the Proteus anguinus. By J. C. 

Dalton Junior, M.D., . . . .332 

XXIII. Researches on Granite. By A. Delesse, . 341 

XXIV. On the Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. (Con- 

tinued from vol. Iv. p. 106), . . 345 

XXV. Anniversary Address to the Ethnological Society, 

London. By Sir Benjamin C. Brodie, Bart. 352 
XXVI. Scientific Intelligence : — 


1. Native Metallic Iron. 2. Glauberite from South 
Peru ; by M. Ulex. 3. Structure of Agate ; by 
Theodore Giirabel. 4. Scleretinite a new fossil 
resin; by J. W. Mallet. 5. Pseudomorphous 
Crystals of Chloride of Sodium ; by Gr. "VVare- 
ing Omerod, M.A., F.G.S. 6. Smyth on Pseudo- 
morphous Crystals of Chloride of Sodium. 7. 
Matlockite; by C. Rammelsberg, . . 358-362 


8. On the Structural Characters of Rocks ; by Dr 
Fleming : Flawed Structure — Columnar Struc- 
ture — Cone Structure. 9. Almaden Mine, 
California, ...... 363, 364 


10. An Account of Meteorological Observations in 
four Balloon Ascents made under the direction 
of the Kew Observatory Committee of the 
British Association ; by John Welsh, Esq. 11. 
Influence of Light upon the Colour of the 
Prawn. 12. Coralline Light. 13. Aurora Bo- 
realis, 365-368 


1-i. The Structure and Economy of Tethea, and 
an undescribed species from the Spitzbergen 
Seas; by Professor Goodsir. 15. Hungarian 
Nightingale. 16. M. Quatrefages 1 Method for 
destroying Insects, .... 368, 370 


17. Experimental Researches on Vegetation ; by 

M. George Ville, .... 370-372 


18. On Extinguishing Fires by Steam. 372 




Biography of the celebrated Geologist, Baron Leopold von 
Buck. By M. Noggerath. 

Humboldt, in his Cosmos, after giving a general descrip- 
tion of volcanoes, proceeds as follows : — »" This description is 
based partly on my own observations, but as a general outline 
it is founded upon the labours of my very old friend, Leopold 
von Buch, the greatest geologist of our age, who was the first 
to recognise the intimate connection of volcanic phenomena, 
and their mutual interdependence in regard to their effects 
and relations in space/' It was scarcely possible for a man 
of science to have received a higher tribute, from the most 
competent of sources; and it is a tribute which has been 
ratified by the general consent of naturalists of every nation. 

Leopold von Buch is no more. In science, no doubt, he 
will continue to live until the labours of the last of its present 
Coryphaei have been utterly forgotten ; but the progress of 
science, by means of his labours, has ceased. The world- 
republic of science has to bewail his loss, no less than Prussia, 
of whom it was not one of the lesser glories to have given 
birth to such a son. On the 4th of March 1853, after a very 
few days' illness, he died at Berlin, in the 79th year of his 

A man of such value, both for contemporaries and for pos- 
terity, will doubtless soon find a competent biographer. In this 

VOL. LV. NO. C1X. — JULY 1853. A 

2 Biography of Baron Leopold von Buck. 

respect it is not in my power to follow him through the inter- 
esting details of his copiously varied life. I had, indeed, as 
a cultivator of his favourite science, the good fortune of 
enjoying his personal and friendly intercourse, and of making 
some geological journeys along with him ; but still I am defi- 
cient in much information that would be requisite to enable 
me to present a complete sketch of his life. Penetrated, 
however, by a feeling of profound and affectionate regard for 
his memory, I will endeavour to present a very slight sketch 
of his eminent scientific merits, adding a few words of a 
more personal character. 

Buch, descended of a noble family, which can count not a 
few eminent literati and statesmen amongst its members, was 
born on the 25th of April 1774, at the family seat of Stolpe, 
in the Uckermark, to which his remains have just been trans- 
ported. Of his education in childhood and early youth I 
know nothing, and am therefore unable to say whether his 
inclination for the natural sciences was an inborn tendency, 
or whether it was developed by the aid of some impulse from 
without. At an early period of his life he was a student in 
the Prussian department of mines. In this technical career 
he never sought to attain any rank of importance, for pure 
science was his goddess from the very first ; but not unfre- 
quently, at a later period of his life, if he happened to be 
asked for his title, he used jestingly to term himself, "Royal 
Prussian Student of Mines" — (Koniglich preussischer Berg- 

In the years 1790 and 1791 we find him at the Mining 
Academy of Freiberg. Here he had A. von Humboldt for a 
fellow-student. Buch was the older pupil at Freiberg, and 
though Humboldt was by several years his senior, they had 
been youthful friends at an earlier date ; they had together 
studied botany, which both of them cultivated with lively 
interest, and it is possible that Buch's residence at Freiberg 
may have been one of the motives which drew Humboldt 
thither. The two young students found a third friend 
of like tastes and pursuits with themselves in Johann Karl 
Freiesleben, well known afterwards by his works on Mine- 
ralogy and Geology, who died as Captain of Mines at Freiberg 

Biography of Baron Leopold von Buck. 3 

in 1846. The intimate friendship which arose amongst the 
three was terminated only by death. 

In Freiberg flourished the then novel science of Mine- 
ralogy and Geognosy, which was taught in the most lively 
and animating manner by its genial founder, A. G. Werner, 
and it was in his school that the great masters grew up, 
who, in their services to the progress of the science, overtop 
perhaps those of the founder himself. In the period of a 
single lifetime it was impossible for Werner, notwithstand- 
ing his immortal greatness, to complete on all hands the 
structure of an experimental science ; and our high appreci- 
ation of the merits of his pupils can nowise be regarded as 
detracting from the recognition of his own comprehensive 
labours. Unfortunately, the sphere of Werner's own per- 
sonal inquiries, owing to the circumstances of his life, was 
confined to far too narrow a spot of the earth's surface ; it 
scarcely extended beyond the limits of Saxony ; and this was 
in a great measure the cause of those imperfections which 
clove to his science to the last. It became the business of 
his scholars to test the new doctrine upon other domains, 
and, in conformity with results, to eliminate what was un- 
tenable, to assign their fitting place to new discoveries, and 
to draw conclusions for the history of the earth's formation, 
which could not rest on the old foundation. Throughout a 
long lifetime this vocation was fulfilled by Buch, faithfully, 
and with the most speculative of minds. 

We first find him opening his inquiries in the highly 
interesting, but then little known, mountainous districts of 
Silesia. Their fruit is exhibited in a small publication which 
appeared in the year 1797, entitled " Versuch einer mine- 
ralogischen Beschreibung von Landeck." The future perfect 
master of observation is, in this work, as clear to be recog- 
nised as the closeness and perspicuity of which all his writ- 
ings may serve as patterns. Above the doctrines of Werner, 
however, even where they have since been proved to be 
untenable, Buch did not yet venture to place himself. Basalt 
was to him, in conformity with the too neptunistic views of 
his master, still a rock of aqueous formation. For the rejec- 
tion of such a deeply-rooted dogma, more striking proofs 


4 Biography of Baron Leopold von Buck. 

were no doubt requisite than the observer could meet with 
on the soil of Silesia. Hence, along with much that is excel- 
lent, we perceive this tendency to swear in verba magistri in 
his " Versuch einer geognostischen Beschreibung von Schle- 
sien," which shortly afterwards appeared, along with a, for the 
time, exceedingly advanced geognostical map of that country. 
If, in this work, it is still the waves which have formed 
the gneiss and the mica slate, and which could deposit them 
only in certain places and in certain directions, on the other 
hand, everything lying without the range of these theoretical 
views is expressed with such denniteness and perspicuity, 
that it can, with the utmost facility, be brought into harmony 
with the better theory which we have now attained ; and this 
is assuredly an excellent proof of the correctness, fidelity, 
and impartiality of the observation. 

In the year 1797, Buch met his friend and fellow-student 
Humboldt at Salzburg and they soon formed a plan for 
pursuing their observations in common. The two friends 
wandered about for a considerable time amongst the Salzburg 
Alps and in Styria, and then passed the winter together in 
Salzburg, where their stay was marked by the meteorological 
and endiometrical inquiries instituted by Humboldt. In 
spring Buch proceeded alone over the Alps into Italy, and 
respecting all his inquiries he gave to the public the most 
valuable reports, which enriched science with new facts, filled 
up blanks, and eliminated much that was untenable. Basaltic 
rocks, with leucite and augite (pyroxene) in the mountains of 
Albano, hitherto regarded by the school of Werner as 
neptunistic formations, were recognised by him as lava, 
though he still did not venture to remove the genesis of the 
German basalts from the position which the then recognised 
dogma had assigned to them. But the general turning-point 
in his views with regard to the formation of basalt was 
already astir within him, as appears from more than one 
passage of a letter which, about this time, he wrote to von 
Moll, and which has already been printed. Complaining that 
he had not yet been able to get to Naples, he proceeds, " I 
endeavour to make the best of matters where I am (in Rome), 
and wander about over the country. But every day I feel 

Biography of Baron Leopold von Buck. § 

more and more acutely that it is only half observations which 
I am making. I am perplexed with the contradictions into 
which Nature seems here to fall with herself, and even my 
very bodily health suffers under the mortifying feeling of 
beino- obliged to confess in the end that one does not know 
what one ought to believe, — frequently does not know if it be 
even admissible to believe one's very eyes." Again, " I 
assure you that Nature contradicts herself much more than I 
here seem to do." (He had been speaking of the neptunic 
origin of basalt.) " Make the finest and surest observa- 
tions, and then go a few miles farther on, and you will find 
occasion, upon grounds just as certain, to maintain the very 
opposite of your former conclusion. You see that, in such a 
mess, it is somewhat venturesome to publish observations 
that are still so imperfectly established. It is possible that 
they may be altered in a day ; but. two days of Vesuvius 
would bring all this to a point." These lines afford likewise 
an interesting proof of the strict scientific conscientiousness 
of their author. 

Buch arrived for the first time at Naples on the 19th of 
February 1799 : he studied Vesuvius with the most careful 
attention, as might have been expected from his longing 
desire to visit the volcano. He was present again, along 
with Humboldt and Gay-Lussac, at the eruption of 12th 
August 1805. To these two visits we are indebted for Buch's 
excellent and lively descriptions of the phenomena of the vol- 
cano, and especially for the first attempt to explain the re- 
lations of these phenomena, — an attempt which has since, 
after more extensive experience, merely received more exact 
definitions upon some individual points (nur einzelene nahere 
Feststellungen erfahren). The whole description is a model 
of that lively, accurately descriptive, and, at the same time, 
picturesque and eloquent style by which the writings of the 
deceased were in general so eminently distinguished. 

In the year 1802 he visited the south of France, the re- 
markable volcanic district of Auvergne, the great counter- 
part of our volcanic Eifel. Amongst various other impor- 
tant matters, he was the first to determine the notion of the 
rock termed by him trap-porphyry, or (as forming the Puy 
de Dome) Domite, — a rock to which Hauy afterwards gave 

6 Biography of Baron Leopold von Bach. 

the name of trachyte. Upon a view of the basalts which 
here, at the foot of the trachytic cone, break out in distinct 
lava streams, the notion of the volcanic origin of the basalt 
of this district ripened with him into conviction ; but this 
view he did not yet venture to extend to the German basalts. 
The faithful disciple and reverer of Werner had no light 
struggle to undergo before adopting so extensive an altera- 
tion on his creed ; but by degrees he assumed the volcanic 
origin of basalt in its most universal acceptation. The re- 
sults of his extensive observations, with the valuable conclu- 
sions which he drew from them, were given to the world 
in his u Geognostischen Beobachtungen auf Reisen durch 
Deutchsland und Italien, 2 Bande 1802 and 1809." 

Buch now turned his steps to Scandinavia, through which 
he travelled during two full years, — from July 1806 to Oc- 
tober 1808 : he penetrated to the extreme northern point of 
Europe : in the North Cape, upon the island of Mager-Oe, 
he made, in rapid succession, the greatest discoveries in re- 
gard to the structure of the earth's crust ; and we can only 
regret that, within the limits at our disposal, it is impossible 
to follow his steps. Climatology and the Geography of 
Plants obtained the most valuable additions ; and he was the 
first to develop and settle the very important fact, which 
afterwards received the most perfect confirmation, that Swe- 
den, from Frederickshall to Abo, or perhaps till towards 
Petersburgh, was in the course of a very slow but continuous 
elevation above the level of the sea. The whole treasure of 
those contributions to science is contained in the "Reise 
durch Norwegen und Lappland, 2 Bande, Berlin, 1810. * 

After this, his German fatherland formed the principal 
object of his wanderings and investigations ; but it was es- 
pecially to the gigantic Alps (which he also subsequently tra- 
velled over and studied in every direction) that he devoted 
his valuable leisure. 

The grand phenomena of the volcanic reaction of the inte- 
rior of the earth upon its surface in the Canary Islands, the 

* An English translation of this valuable work was published in London, 
with numerous annotations and illustrations, by Professor Jameson of Kdin- 

Biography of Baron Leopold von Buck. 7 

mighty peak of Teneriffe, the volcanic islands of Gran Cana- 
ria, Palm a, and Longerate, presented powerful attractions to 
his mind. Accompanied by the Norwegian botanist Chris- 
tian Smith (who afterwards met with an untimely death in 
the unfortunate English expedition to Congo), he set sail 
from England for the volcanic group, and in the end of April 
1815 landed in Madeira, from whence they gradually visited 
the other islands. The agencies — present and in progress — 
of the volcanoes were discovered and exhibited in the clear- 
est manner. Never before had the relief forms of the vol- 
canoes been so perfectly made out and placed in harmony 
with their genesis, and the description was illustrated by 
most excellent maps, such as had never before been seen, — 
monuments at once of the industry of the quick and faithful 
eye, and of the accurate hand of the illustrious geologist- 
In the valuable work " Physicalische Beschreibung der Cana- 
rischen Inseln, Berlin, 1825, mit Atlas." Buch went far be- 
yond the immediate results of his voyage. With his happy 
gift of combination, and supported by a perfect knowledge of 
what had previously been observed by others, he shewed that 
all the numberless islands lying scattered over the broad 
ocean, had, like the Canary Islands, in a peculiar manner, 
separately emerged from the sea as " islands of upheaval" 
with their " crater of upheaval" in the centre ; and he shewed 
the significant intimate connection of the volcanoes at the 
earth's surface in the direction of long crevices existing in 
its crust. Farther proofs of those, and of other cognate views, 
were given in two important treatises which appeared at a 
subsequent period, namely, " Ueberden Zusammenhang der 
basaltischen Inseln und uber Erhebungs-Krater" and "Ueber- 
die Natur der Vulkanischen Erscheinungen auf den Canaris- 
chen Inseln und ihre Verbindung mit anderen Vulkanen der 

On his return from this important voyage, Buch visited the 
remarkable basaltic Hebrides on the coast of Scotland, and 
the Giant's Causeway of Antrim in Ireland. 

After this he resumed his inquiries in Germany. The pa- 
rallel direction of all the chains of the Alps which had al- 
ready attracted the attention of Saussure, formed the subject 
of his genetic inquiries, and the results which he attained be- 

o Biography of Baron Leopold von Buck. 

long unquestionably to his most important and successful 
labours. They present to our convictions the doctrine that 
the ancient seas have not rolled away over the mountain 
chains [dass die alten meere nicht iiber die berg ketten weg- 
gegangen sind], but that the mountain chains have been up- 
heaved into the atmosphere, bursting through the series of 
strata in long lines, — fissures, and that these upheavals have 
taken place at different geological epochs. A great deal 
more, and of much importance, attached itself to the establish- 
ment of these views, upon which undoubtedly rests the most 
considerable progress that has been made by modern geology. 
The eminent French geologist, Elie de Beaumont, has made 
a general and most successful application of this doctrine, 
which he has also contributed to perfect in a manner that 
deserves the most ample recognition. Buch had sketched 
in large and distinct traits which must be at once compre- 
hended and recognised in their truthfulness by everybody. 
Those surprising new facts, with the important conclusions 
drawn from them, are accompanied by an excellent geologi- 
cal map and remarkable profile drawings, described in a 
series of treatises which may be found collected in Leon- 
hard's "Taschenbuch der Mineralogie" for 1824. 

To the same epoch of Buch's labours belong, amongst 
others, his studies and inquiries with regard to the filling up 
of amygdaloids by subsequent infiltration into the vesicu- 
lar cavities of melaphyres. I refer to these with the more 
pleasure, because I have myself, within the last few years, 
succeeded in confirming to demonstration in every respect the 
correctness of the master's theory, by numerous proofs, found 
principally in my own neighbourhood, which I have given in 
detail in two printed treatises. 

Another of Buch's essential services was his collection of 
materials for the first geognostic map of all Germany, which 
in 1824 was published in 42 sheets by Simon Schropp in 
Berlin. For the time in which it appeared, the map was of 
great value. Of course, it will gradually be surpassed in 
completeness and exactness by the continuous and more per- 
fect observations of more recent works of the sort which 
have either appeared already or may be expected to appear 
in future. The Prussian government, preceded in that re- 

Biography of Baron Leopold von Buck. 9 

spect by those of regal Saxony and Austria, have, from a 
sense of its great utility and importance, taken into their 
hands the geognostic delineation of their respective terri- 
tories. The impulse and pattern proceeded from the labours 
of Buch. 

In my chronological dates of Buch's labours hitherto, I 
have chiefly followed the account given by the late Fr. Hoff- 
mann, in his " Geschichte der Geognosie," 1838. In many 
respects, my own very limited opinion was able essentially 
to coincide with it ; and for a great deal that I cannot compre- 
hend in this sketch, I would refer those who may be desirous 
of learning more about Buch's works, to the excellent publi- 
cation of Hoffmann. But even in it we find nothing like a 
perfect catalogue of his numerous monographs and papers. 
His works of this sort, included in the Transactions of the 
Berlin Academy alone, would fill several thick volumes, not 
to speak of what have appeared in various other periodicals, 
in the shape of articles or correspondence. But in all these 
prevails the same comprehensive and combining spirit, inter- 
rogating nature, giving happy interpretations to her answers, 
and exhibiting all the precision required by the exact sci- 

The study and progress of palaeontology, by means of 
which modern geology has made such considerable progress, 
was at once comprehended by Buch, in all those relations by 
which alone it could preserve its real value. It was not 
merely the form and anatomy of the plants and animals of a 
former world which he endeavoured to determine by distinct 
and immutable characters ; but he was deeply sensible how 
important it was to apprehend the continuous metamorphoses 
of these formations, through all the periods of the earth's 
development, to determine the limits relative to time and 
space, and especially to the successive deposits [Uebereinan- 
derlagerungen] in the earth's crust, for the different forms 
of genus and species. The notion and term of " Pilot shells'' 
(Leitmuscheln), which, as being easy to be recognised and 
determined, everywhere facilitate geognostic inquiry, were 
introduced by him, and found of very great advantage to 
science. So early as 1806 he had, almost prophetically, in a 

10 Biography of Baron Leopold von Buck. 

printed discourse " On the Progress of Forms in Nature" 
(Ueber das Fortschreiten der Bildungen in der Natur), pre- 
pared the direction on which palaeontology has now entered. 
In the same spirit are composed his treatise on the Ammon- 
ites, which is especially distinguished by its acuteness ; and, 
monographs on the Terebratulae, Delthyris or Spirifer, and his 
Orthis, Productus, Leptaenae, &c, &c. In intimate connection 
with these pal aeon tological essays, stand others on the dis- 
tribution of definite formations over the surface of the earth, 
namely, of the Jura formation, the chalk, and the brown 
coal. The first-mentioned of these treatises is probably the 
last which was ever read by the deceased in the Berlin Aca- 
demy (December 16, 1852) ; in its deeply pondered and com- 
bining contents it affords a striking testimony of how fresh 
and versatile his mind had continued down to the very latest 
period of his life. In his treatise on the brown coal formation 
there is opened to the palaeontologist a new field of observa- 
tion and determination in the nervures of fossil leaves ; a 
branch of inquiry which, even in the study of living plants 
has, in its finer shades, been but too much neglected, and the 
culture of which offers every hope of a copious harvest. 

Buch's comprehensive knowledge and labours extended 
far beyond the narrow limits of the science of terra firma. 
He was a learned physicist in the largest meaning of the 
word. We are indebted to him for much information regard- 
ing the atmosphere ; we need only refer to his admirable 
treatise upon hail, regarding the temperature of springs, &c, 
&c, and his inquiries and publications on the geography of 
plants, are of the highest merit and interest. . , 

I am not able to enumerate the whole of his various 
travels. He visited Scandinavia a second time ; and in the 
latter years of his life he was always glad of an excuse for 
paying a visit to Switzerland. In the summer of 1852 he 
also again visited Auvergne. 

He also exercised a benignant influence on the diffusion of 
science, by attending the ambulatory meetings of naturalists 
in Germany and abroad, especially in Switzerland, Italy, 
and England. He was present at the Werner festival, which 
was celebrated with great pomp at Freiberg in 1850, the 

Biography of Baron Leopold von Buck. 11 

oldest living pupil of the Mining Academy, and, as may easily 
be supposed, he met with the most marked attention. Where- 
ever he went he was sure to become the nucleus of an indus- 
trious group of givers and takers in the domain of Natural 
History. For the last few years Bonn has had the good 
fortune to see him almost every summer within her walls, 
engaged for a longer or shorter period in intimate intercourse 
with some of his fellow naturalists ; with von Dechen, the 
now deceased Goldfuss, G. Bischof, F. Romer, 0. Weber, 
and others, a circle from which the writer of this notice did 
not remain excluded. And such was the nature of his inter- 
course at other places likewise, which he used to stop at in 
the course of his pilgrimages. The latter used to compre- 
hend not merely investigations in the field, but likewise per- 
sonal intercourse with the initiated, who lived in the neigh- 
hood of the scenes he visited. He took an active part at the 
meetings of the scientific societies of Berlin. 

From what we have said it is obvious that the deceased was 
a very industrious and active member of the Berlin Academy of 
Sciences. The French Institute had done him the honour to 
name him an Associe Etranger, of which, as our readers are 
aware, the statutes allow only eight to be elected. Itis impossible 
for me to enumerate the other academies and learned bodies at 
home and abroad of which he was a member ; they are cer- 
tainly very numerous. He never set them forth on a title- 
page. For the same reason I can only state, in regard to the 
orders with which he may have been invested, that he was a 
Knight of the Civil Class of the Order pour le Merite, and of 
the First Class of the Order of the Rother Adler. He was a 
Royal Chamberlain of Prussia, and his merits were always 
highly recognised by his sovereign. 

It is no easy task to represent the personal qualities of a 
distinguished man, especially when, as was the case with the 
subject of this memoir, he possessed a number of peculiarities 
which place him in an anomalous relation to the common 
herd of God's creatures. In the present case, however, there 
is less necessity for dilating, because the great majority of 
those who will take an interest in these lines are likely to have 
seen the deceased once, at least, in the course of his manifold 

12 Biography of Baron Leopold von Buck. 

peregrinations. He is also known in his externals by the 
excellent likeness which has been so widely diffused, taken 
from the very successful portrait executed at the command 
of the king, by our meritorious Rhenish artist, Professor 
Vegas. There he sits upon a block of granite, spiritually 
rendered, but characteristic and true to the life ; he is resting 
from his journeyings amongst the mountains, with his miner's 
crook in his hand, his broad shirt-frill not very nicely plaited, 
and one of the tails of his black dress-coat negligently inserted 
betwixt his body and his seat. The portrait is a pendant to 
that of Humboldt. 

Buch was of middle size ; his make might be described as 
tolerably strong. His features were distinctly marked, and 
he had a Roman nose. The expression of his countenance 
was commonly somewhat stiff, little versatile, denoting the 
deep earnest thinker; but withal, there would not unfre- 
quently play over it a smile, which, in its turn, betrayed no 
common degree of mildness and friendliness. Another form 
of his physiognomy, the satirical or sarcastic, could also on 
occasions be displayed, and harmonised with the pungent 
wit of which he could be prodigal upon proper occasions. The 
sharpness of his eye seemed mitigated by the glasses which 
he constantly wore ; but this organ had a most extraordinary 
capacity for the minute distinction of the smallest objects. 
His complexion was deeply tanned by sun. 

His dress was commonly neither neat nor well preserved, 
though he was fond of elegance in his apartments. This is 
also exhibited in the instructive plates with which his works 
were, for most part, illustrated. Upon his journeys he gene- 
rally wore, even in summer, a black dress-coat and great- 
coat, both well provided with pockets for holding his maps, 
note-book, hammer, and other indispensables. He always 
went in shoes and silk stockings. His gait was unsteady, 
and nobody that saw him moving along, with his head bent 
forward over his chest, would have dreamt that this was the 
man who had spent the greater part of his life in travelling 
about upon foot. When obliged to travel in a carriage or on 
a railway he was most unhappy. 

Biography of Baron Leopold von Buck. 13 

He possessed a certain nervous irritability of temperament 
which, in his intercourse with others, and particularly when 
on his journeys, sometimes gave rise to somewhat odd scenes 
and situations ; but the inborn good nature of his character 
always brought him off in triumph. He had a strict sense 
of justice, and in this respect he would not tolerate the 
slightest violation. But not on this point alone but on every 
other, he was an extremely line-feeling man, however little 
this may have been betrayed by his external appearance. 
Incompleteness or frivolity in the treatment of science was 
his aversion. His memory was exceedingly ready and re- 

He was never married, but he rather enjoyed conversation 
with talented women. He never kept a male domestic. A 
staid elderly woman had the care of his household. When 
he quitted Berlin it was seldom that any mortal knew to what 
point of the compass he had turned his face, or when he might 
be expected back again. He was just the same man upon a 
journey ; he arrived unexpected, visited his friends, but none 
of them ever discovered when he meant to be off again. 

He possessed a sufficient amount of worldly goods, not 
only for the supply of all his own wants, but also to bring 
considerable sacrifices to science and to general benevolence. 
He was always ready with his assistance to struggling youth- 
ful talent, and never withheld scientific recognition where it 
was due. 

The departed will now r have attained a survey of those 
mysteries in the structure and origin of the earth, which even 
his clear-seeing spirit could not compass during its abode 
upon its surface. This enlivening hope I dedicate to the 
memory of the departed illustrious naturalist and the beloved 
friend. Blessed be the remembrance of the man whose 
name (to use the expression of Snethlage at his interment) 
is venerated as far as civilisation has extended its empire, and 
whose death will create a pang in Germany, in Europe, and 
beyond the waves of the ocean. 


On Pendulum Observations. By Alexander Gerard, Esq., 


Gordon's Hospital, 
Aberdeen, 20th April 1853, 

Sir, — Having read in the last number of the Edinburgh 
New Philosophical Journal an account of Observations on the 
Pendulum in Bunker's Hill Monument, and an article respect- 
ing the Ordnance Survey, I take the liberty of sending you a 
description of an apparatus erected by me upwards of two 
years ago, which exhibited the phenomena since observed in 

On the 12th of January 1851, a pendulum was suspended 
in the following manner : — The ring B was fixed near the 
the top of the west wall of a room. 
Into this was hooked a copper wire? 
which was brought down over the 
end of abeam, CD. This beam was 
built of four pieces of deal, in the 
form of a rectangular spout (with 
a view of obviating the effects of 
hygrometrical changes), and rest- 
ed against the wall on a pivot at D. 
A block of granite, weighing about ™" 
one cwt., was attached to the end of the wire. As the ring 
at B projected a little over the point D, the apparatus was 
in the condition of a gate swung upon a post not quite ver- 
tical. When set a- vibrating, it was seen to perform one oscil- 
lation in about 15 seconds, which shewed that it had the same 
amount of defiexibility as a pendulum hung freely from the 
height of 630 feet. The position of the weight was noted 
on a table placed near to the outer end of the beam ; and, 
if not at rest (which it seldom was), it was either steadied 
by the hand, or the middle of the small vibration was taken. 
It was observed to be subject to a daily variation, hanging 
farthest south about 8 or 9 in the morning, and farthest 
north about 3 in the afternoon. After its movements had 
been watched for some weeks, the apparatus was dismount- 
ed, and fixed on the north wall of the room. The weight 
would thus obviously be free to move in the east and west 

Alex. Gerard, Esq., on Pendulum Observations. 15 

direction. Its position now was farthest west about 11 A.M., 
and farthest east about 7 P.M., so that 3 P.M. might be con- 
sidered the culminating point. 

The space passed over was not very accurately noted, but 
was greatest on days of bright sunshine, being on one occa- 
sion as much as } inch. 

The room where the experiment was conducted was on 
the first floor of a strong granite building, and separated 
from the front by a large apartment and a passage. The sun 
at that season of the year never shone upon it, and the changes 
took place irrespective of the temperature of the room. 

While engaged in these observations, I happened to read 
in a newspaper an imperfect account of M. Foucault's experi- 
ment, and erroneously identified it with my own. Under 
this impression, I communicated the results of my observa- 
tions to Professor Airy, suggesting one or other of the two 
following explanations ; either — 1st, That, by unequal ex- 
pansion, the position of the building is in some very small 
degree altered by the heat of the sun ; or, 2d, That the solar 
rays produce some very minute change on the direction of 
gravity. The learned Professor, after a short time, favoured 
me with his reply, to the effect that, in his opinion, there 
could not be a change in the direction of gravity to the ex- 
tent indicated, as this would be inconsistent with the steadi- 
ness of the zenith point in the best instruments. 

Considering the Astronomer Royal as the most competent 
judge in this matter, I abandoned the idea of the possibility 
of such a change ; and the subject had almost dropped from 
my mind, when my attention was recalled to it by the perusal 
of your last number. The American Professor joins with 
our illustrious countryman in ascribing the phenomena to un- 
equal expansion. Yet, with all deference to so high autho- 
rity, I would venture to suggest the query, Whether the 
suspected change of gravity may not lurk as a residuum in 
some of the small corrections usually made on astronomical 
observations, and whether the same change may not be the 
cause of the difficulty experienced in determining latitudes 
with great precision in the Trigonometrical Survey ? 

With respect to the Bunkers' Hill experiment, it is difficult 

16 Alex. Gerard. Esq., on Pendulum Observation*. 

to conceive that the sudden shower should have produced so 
great an effect in a few minutes, if acting merely by con- 
tracting the side of the tower exposed to it, on account of 
granite being a very slow conductor of heat ; but, upon the 
hypothesis of the effect being due to a modifying influence 
over the whole adjoining region to windward, that difficulty 
is removed. And with regard to my own apparatus, so 
strongly sheltered from the direct action of the sun, and placed 
not twenty feet from the ground, the same difficulty occurs. 

It is of course impossible to find a building entirely free 
from unequal expansion, or from tremor, occasioned by wind 
or other causes ; but the experiment might be brought to a 
decisive test by hanging a pendulum down the shaft of a very 
deep mine which was not being wrought at the time, or by 
floating a powerful telescope upon mercury, after the man- 
ner of the horizontal collimator, and directing it in succession 
to four equidistant marks placed in the four cardinal points. 
The apparent position of the marks with respect to the hori- 
zontal wires of the telescope might be altered by unequal 
refraction at different hours of the day, but being equally 
distant from the observer, they would by this cause be all 
affected equally. If, therefore, the horizontal wires should 
continue to cut the marks at the same points, or at corre- 
sponding points, at all hours of the day, it would be obvious 
that no change had taken place in the level of the mercury ; 
whereas, if the intersections did not correspond, a change of 
level, and consequently of the plumb-line, proportioned to the 
discordance, would be equally manifest. 

The satisfactory trial of the experiment, in either of these 
methods, would imply a command of time, ground, and as- 
sistants, beyond the reach of most private individuals, but, if 
undertaken by Her Majesty's Government, might be con- 
ducted at comparatively little expense by the machinery 
already in operation in the Trigonometrical Survey. 

Should this communication appear to you of sufficient im- 
portance, the insertion of it in your Journal may be instru- 
mental in securing a settlement of the question in the above 
indicated or some other decisive manner. I have the honour 
to be, &c. Alexr. Gerard. 

On the Meteorology of Whitehaven. 






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J. F. Miller, Esq., on the 




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Meteorology of Whitehaven. 


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* The evaporation for 1842 is computed from the evaporation force, in proportion to the respective values of the estimated and 
measured evaporation in the corresponding months of the years 1843 and 1844. The result, calculated for the mean of the whole 
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inches: — ° J ' 

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20 J. .F Miller, Esq., on the 


The past year is distinguished by several marked peculiarities and 
anomalous characteristics, of which the most prominent are, — the 
very large amount of rain, and its very unequal distribution over the 
different seasons, — the enormous and unprecedented fall in the two 
first and two last months, and the protracted drought of ten weeks 
in the spring, — the longest, though not the most severe, which has 
occurred within the memory of the existing generation, in the North- 
ern Counties. The year is further remarkable for its high tempera- 
ture, the large amount of surface evaporation, the great heat of July 
and August (especially of July, the mean temperature of which ex- 
ceeded that of any other month on record) — the great quantity of 
free electricity in the air in these months, as manifested by the un- 
usual number and almost tropical severity of the thunder storms, — 
for the small number of frosty nights and the entire absence of snow, 
— and, lastly, for the violent gales of wind which prevailed during 
the last week in December, particularly on the morning of Christ- 
mas day, when the tempest or hurricane exceeded in violence any 
storm which has visited the north of England since the memorable 
7th of January 1839. 

The abnormal conditions of climate presented by the year 1852, 
are so numerous and varied, that they seem worthy of something 
more than a mere passing notice. I therefore proceed to discuss 
these irregularities in the order in which they have just been enu- 
merated. As regards the Lake District generally, the year 1852 
exhibits by much the largest quantity of rain which has been re- 
corded in any annual period since the experiments were commenced 
in 1844, though the falls at Wastdale Head and Seathwaite were 
exceeded in 1848, by 5*74 and 4 15 inches, respectively. At the 
coast, the depth in 1852 was exceeded in only three of the last 
twenty years, — viz., in 1835, 1836, and 1841, in which the at- 
mospheric precipitation was 54*13, 5897, and 55*97 inches, re- 
spectively.* It may be observed, that the fall of rain in 1852 has 
been relatively much greater in the Westmoreland than in the Cum- 
berland portion of the Lake District. At Troutbeck, the depth ex- 
ceeds the average of the eight preceding years by more than one 
half; at Kendal, by nearly one-half; and, at Ambleside, by more 

* The most extraordinary relative fall of rain in England, in 1852, occurred 
at North Shields, — 58'21 inches, the average being only 20-37 inches. In 8 
months previous to June 1852, the total quantity of rain measured was 794 
inches ; and in the last 7 months of the year, the fall was 52-41 inches ; — viz., 
in June, 752 inches, in July, 571 inches, in August, 6 - 92 inches, in September, 
8-65 inches, in October, 782 inches, in November, 9*91 inches, and in Decem- 
ber, 5-88 inches. 

Meteorology of Whitehaven. 21 

than one-third ; while, in Cumberland, the surplus varies from one- 
third, at Keswick and Bassenthwaite, to one-tenth of the mean an- 
nual quantity, at Langdale and Seathwaite. At Stonethwaite, 
within two miles of Seathwaite, the excess is fully one-fifth ; and at 
Buttermere and Gatesgarth, about an equal distance apart in the 
same line of valley, it is one-fourth and one-sixth of the mean annual 
fall in the preceding eight years. 

In January and February, the fall at Seathwaite was 47*70 inches, 
and in November and December, it amounted to 50*30 inches, so 
that, of 156*74 inches of water precipitated at the head of Borrow- 
dale in 1852, exactly 98 inches descended in four months ; — whilst 
58*74 inches were distributed over the remaining eight months of 
the year. The largest quantity of rain measured in 24 hours was 
5*74 inches, at Stonethwaite in Borrowdale, which fell between the 
mornings of the 11th and 12th of December; — the depth on the 
11th and 12th (for 48 consecutive hours) was 9*11 inches. 

The dry weather set in on the 18th of February, and continued 
till the morning of the 28th of April — exactly ten weeks. During 
this period, there were a few slight showers, amounting, at White- 
haven, to 0*318 inch, and, at Seathwaite, to 0*98 inch, quantities 
not unfrequently yielded by a smart shower of an hour's duration. 
From all I can learn, this appears to have been the most protracted 
drought which has occurred in the present century, though, from its 
commencing very early in the year, its effects on vegetation were 
not nearly so injurious as those consequent on the memorable drought 
which prevailed in the summer of 1826. 

During the 20 years (1833-1852) over which my registers extend, 
there have been four remarkably dry periods, but none to compare 
with the present in point of duration. The first was in 1836, when 
no rain fell in the 34 days between the 30th of April and the 3d of 
June. The spring of 1840 was fine and dry. I have no record for 
that year, but, at Carlisle, the fall in March and April only amounted 
to 0*631, or little more than half an inch. In 1844, a drought set 
in on the 23d of April, and continued till the 4th of June — 41 
days, during which 0*262, or about a quarter of an inch of rain fell. 
And, there was a further absence of rain between the 25th of June 
and the 10th of July, in the same year. 

My friend, Robert Jopson, Esq., Woodhouse, Buttermere, on the 
day preceding that which terminated the drought of 1826, caused a 
post to be firmly driven into the bed of Crummock Lake, on which 
a well defined notch was cut, as a permanent record of the depth of 
water in the Lake, at a time when it was lower than had ever been 
witnessed by the oldest residents in the district. On the 4th of 
June, 1844, the water was 5 J inches above the notch or mark. On 
the 19th of April, 1852, it was just three inches above zero, and on 
the 7th of May (when 7-10ths of an inch of rain had fallen) Mr 
Jopson writes, " the mark was examined this evening, when the Lake 

22 J. F. Miller, Esq., on the 

was perfectly calm, — not a ripple upon it, and the water was found 
to be only 3-8ths of an inch higher than in 1826 ; and, I have no 
hesitation in saying that the present season has been far drier than 
the summer of 1826, taking into consideration the time of the year, 
the dry weather of 1826 taking place in June and July." 

On the 14th of June, 1824, when Derwent Lake was considered 
to be unusually low, a mark was cut in the rock of " Friar's Crag," 
by Mr Otley, of Keswick, which he calls zero. On the 5th of July, 
1826, the water was six inches below the notch, but this great de- 
pression might in part be accounted for by the state of the outlet. 
On the 9th of June, 1830, it was 2 J inches; June the 1st, 1836, 
1 inch ; and June 3d, 1844, 4 inches below zero. On the 27th of 
April, 1852, Derwent Lake was 2f inches below the zero mark, — 
and on the 2d of February last, it was 98 inches above the same 
mark. In 1826, the Lake was below zero from the 12th of June 
till the 12th of July, when rain came on, but the season might be 
called droughty from the 13th of April till the 12th of August — 
17 weeks. Two stooks of barley were cut at Portinscale on the 30th 
of June, and new oats from Underskiddaw were sold on the 5th of 
August in that year. In 1844, the Lake was at or below zero 
from May 16th to June 9th ; and, in 1852, it was below zero from 
the 9th of April till the 9th of May. Hence, while the meteorolo- 
gical records kept at Whitehaven testify that no drought of equal dura- 
tion to that of 1852, has happened during the last 20 years, the 
comparative depth of the water in Crummock and Derwent Lakes 
affords evidence almost equally conclusive, that so long a continu- 
ance of dry weather has not occurred since the memorable drought 
in 1826, or within the last 26 years. 

The unusually calm state of the atmosphere during the late remark- 
able weather must have been striking, even to the most superficial 
observer ; and, fortunate it is that this stillness prevailed. Had the 
drought been accompanied by strong easterly winds, or, had it occurred 
at a somewhat later period of the year, the evaporation from the 
ground would have been increased to an enormous extent, and the 
effects would, in all probability, have been most disastrous, both to 
the vegetable and the animal kingdoms. Thus, in 1844, during 
the 41 days of drought between the 23d of April and the 4th of 
June, with occasional strong easterly winds, the evaporation amounted 
to 7'825 inches ; but, in the late dry period, which lasted 29 days 
longer, the water raised by evaporation in 70 days, is only 5*979, or 
barely 6 inches. 

At the summit of Great Gabel, there is a vertical cavity in the 
rock, which, owing to the frequent presence of clouds, the high de- 
gree of humidity, and consequent feeble evaporating force at this 
elevation, always contains water, except in the very driest seasons. 
This "atmospheric spring, or well," as it is called, contained very 
little water at the end of March, and we may assume that it was 
quite dry early in April. The well was also dried up in the 

Meteorology of Whitehaven. 23 

spring of 1844. This " atmospheric spring'' is highly regarded 
by the simple inhabitants of the Dale, and when the " Sappers and 
Miners" engaged in the trigonometrical survey, accidentally covered 
it over in 1844, a great stir was made till it was re-opened, by order 
of the officers. It may not be uninteresting to note the circumstances 
attending the cessation of so remarkable a drought. The night pre- 
ceding its termination was sufficiently fine and clear to admit of my 
obtaining an excellent set of measures of the binary Star, g Bootis, 
between 10 and 11 o'clock ; at midnight, the sky was covered with 
a very thin veil of Cirro-stratus, reflecting a large, faint, lunar halo, 
which was followed by heavy rain at 7h. 30m. on the following 
morning ; and, by 3 o'clock in the afternoon, 6-10ths of an inch had 
fallen. The writer may here remark, that the lunar halo is the most 
certain prognostic of speedy atmospheric deposition with which he is 
acquainted. A halo seen in the evening is almost invariably fol- 
lowed by rain in the course of the night ; and, the larger the ring, 
the sooner does precipitation ensue. This long-continued drought 
ended rather suddenly, with a high state of the barometer ; nor was 
it either preceded or succeeded by any marked fluctuations, either of 
pressure or temperature. 

The excessive heat which prevailed throughout the greater part 
of the summer of 1852, will long be remembered. The month of 
June scarcely attained to its average temperature. Hail fell in the 
Lake District, on the 1st and 2d ; and, on the 3d, the higher 
mountains were capped with snow. 

At Greenwich, July was the hottest month in any year since 1778. 
At Whitehaven, the mean of the day extreme was 71°*37, and that of 
the night, 58°72, the mean temperature (65 o, 04) exceeding the ave- 
rage of the month by 4°*88, and that of any other month on record 
by l°-83. At Seathwaite, the mean of the maximum wa.s 69°- 17, — 
of the minimum, 58 0, 3, — mean temperature, 63°*76 degrees. 

August was also remarkably warm, (though its mean heat was 4° 
less than that of July) and both months were characterised by an 
extremely disturbed electrical condition of the atmosphere. I cer- 
tainly never remember a summer in which there occurred such nu- 
merous and awful thunder-storms. Throughout June and July, the 
air seem to be charged to overflowing with electricity. On several 
nights, electric flashes of dazzling brilliancy followed each other with 
scarcely a moment's intermission, from sunset till near sunrise ; and 
many fields of the potato plant were completely blackened in a single 

The winter of any year which passes over without snow, must be 
unusually mild. The only snow seen at Whitehaven in 1852, con- 
sisted of a kw particles which fell on the 9th of January and on the 
1st of March, scarcely deserving the name of slight showers. 

November and December, in addition to their excessive wetness, 
were distinguished by a very high temperature, and an almost entire 
absence of frosty nights, which amounted to three only. At White- 

24 J. F. Miller, Esq., on the 

haven, the month of December was no less than 4°*5 above its ave- 
rage mean temperature. At Greenwich, it was the mildest month 
in the last 80 years, — and November was exceeded by only one 
year (1818) in the same period. 

The fall of rain in December at Whitehaven, was 11*002 inches, 
a greater quantity than has been gauged in any one month during 
the last 20 years, — and exceeding the average by no less than 7'16 
inches. Every day but one was more or less wet. On the 11th 
and 12th, an extraordinary amount of rain fell over the Lake Dis- 
trict, and, the consequence was, the highest floods ever known at 
Keswick, Cockermouth, and other places. On the morning of the 
13th, the height of Derwent Lake, and of the River Greta, was 
greater than it had ever been before, in the memory of any living 
individual. The water was deep on the Main Street of Keswick 
for upwards of 100 yards from the bridge across the Greta, and it 
completely inundated some of the houses, doing a considerable amount 
of damage. In consequence of the overflowing both of the rivers Der- 
went and Cocker, the principal street of Cockermouth was flooded to 
the depth of 2 or 3 feet, and a salmon was seen swimming opposite 
to the Globe Hotel in that town. 

At the '• Goat," at the outskirts of Cockermouth, the water co- 
vered the mantelpieces in several of the houses, and the lives of the 
inhabitants were placed in imminent peril. The railway between 
Cockermouth and Workington was under water, and one of the 
wooden bridges was carried away. Windermere Lake was exceed- 
ingly high, and it would have been higher than on February the 9th 
1831 (or seven feet above its usual level), had not the outlet been 
made one or two feet deeper near Newby Bridge, for the passage of 
steamers. Under these circumstances, the Lake was just three 
inches lower than in February, 1831. On the 11th and 12th of 
December, the quantity of rain measured at Stonethwaite, for forty- 
eight hours, was 9*11 inches; at Seathwaite, 7'57 inches; and at 
Cum mock Lake, 6* 60 inches. In five days of this month, 15*18 
inches fell at Seathwaite, and 16*36 inches at Stonethwaite. 

The mean temperature of 1852, at this place, was 50°*155, which 
is 1°*31 above the climatic average. In the last 20 years, there have 
been but three which have attained to a temperature of 50°, — viz., 
1834, 1846, and 1852. 

The Evaporation is 30*35 inches, exceeding the annual average 
quantity by 0*519 inch, and the amount in 1851, by 5.008 inches. 
The greatest depth evaporated in any single day was 0336 inches 
on the 27th of July, with a temperature of 73 0, 5 — complement of 
the dew point 9°, and a bright unclouded sky.* In the almost 
tropically fine and dry year 1842, the evaporation amounted to 36*83 
inches, exceeding the depth of water precipitated by 2*143 inches. 

* The greatest depth of water raised by evaporation in 24 hours, during the 
Jl years lar>t past, was 0-430 inch, on the 22d .May, 1844. 

Meteorology of Whitehaven. 25 

Winds. — In 1852, the winds were distributed as under : — N., 
17 days; NE., 77 days; E., 19£ days; SE., 34± days; S., 65 
days; SW., 93 days ; W., 34 days; NW., 24J days; and, dead 
calms, 1J days. As usual, the SW. is the prevalent wind, but the 
easterly points are above the average number. 

Weather, fyc — In the past year, there have been 50 perfectly 
clear days ; 190 wet days ; 126 more or less cloudy, without rain ; 
287 days on which the sun shone out more or less ; 21 frosty 
nights ;* 2 slight snow-showers ; and 19 days on which hail fell. 
There have also been five solar and seven lunar halos, 1 parhelion, 
1 lunar rainbow, 15 thunder-storms, 4 days of thunder without visi- 
ble lightning, 7 days of lightning without thunder, and 10 exhibitions 
of the Aurora Borealis. The days of cloudless sky in 1852, exceed 
those in the memorably fine and luxuriant year 1842, by seven. In 
1851, the perfectly clear days were 19; in 1850, 11 ; in 1849, 12 ; 
in 1848, 18; in 1847, 16; in 1846, 27; in 1845, 21; in 1844, 
30 ; in 1843. 31 ; and, in 1842, 43 ; the average number in the 
last 11 years being twenty -five. 

Atmospheric Phenomena. — Aurora Borealis. — Of the 10 ap- 
pearances of aurora recorded in 1852, 3 were seen in February, 2 
in April, 3 in September, 1 in November, and 1 in December. 
The most brilliant displays of this beautiful meteor occurred in Feb- 
ruary and in September, of which the following particulars are 
copied from the local register : — 

February 19th, 1852. — Strong and intensely cold wind, with a 
nearly cloudless sky throughout the day. In the evening, there was 
the most magnificent and extensive aurora which has appeared for 
some years past. At 7h. 30m., occasional streamers rose up from 
E. to WSW., and at 9h., two-thirds of the sky was covered with 
the auroral mist and streamers, the latter converging at a point 
south and east of the zenith, which, at 9 p.m., was situated about 8° 
N., and a little E. of Castor. From W. to NW. the meteor was 
extremely brilliant, the bases of the streamers forming an arch, the 
centre or highest part of which was elevated about 25° above the 
horizon. The arch formed by the bases of these streamers was fre- 
quently tinted with a bright rose colour, resembling a fringe ; and, 
below, the sky was of a deep black. From this time till past mid- 
night, the aurora increased both in extent and intensity ; and, at 
times, fully nine-tenths of the sky was covered by it. In the NE., 
the streamers were tinged with a deep rose colour. At llh. 30m., 
the luminous matter was arranged round the point of convergence in 
a series of elliptic segments, presenting a very striking and uncommon 
phase of the phenomenon. The occasional minute clouds which 

* Of the 21 clays, or rather nights of frost, in 1852, 3 occurred in January, 
7 in February, 7 in March, 1 in April, 2 in November, and 1 in December. 

26 J. F. Miller, Esq., on the 

passed over the sky were black as ink, and they appeared to stand 
out in relief, conveying the impression of their being at a very much 
lower altitude than the aurora. The light emitted by the meteor 
was very considerable, and I think moderately-sized print might have 
been read by its aid. At 1 a.m., the aurora had diminished in ex- 
tent, and was then altogether confined to the northern half of the 
sky, but I am told it was visible till break of day. 

February 21st. — On coming up street, at nine o'clock this even- 
ing, there was an irregular auroral arch in the NW., and frequent 
vivid flashes, resembling sheet-lightning. Before 10h., the sky was 
overcast and the aurora concealed from view. On looking out, at 
13h., although the sky was still covered with a thin sheet of cloud, 
the flashes were extremely vivid, and were repeated every iew seconds, 
exactly resembling the playful horizontal sheet-lightning seen on fine 
summer evenings. I never saw the magnetic flashings so bright and 
frequent on any former occasion. Aurorse were seen every night 
between the 15th and 21st, at different places in England, during 
which period the Greenwich Observatory magnets were much dis- 
turbed, and the electric telegraph needles were considerably deflected. 
The aurora of February 19th, was visible throughout England and 
the continent of Europe, and in America. 

September 20th. — Overcast, with frequent heavy showers and 
gusts ; afternoon, gleams ; at 3h., a loud peal of thunder from the 
northward; evening, showers. At lOh. 5m. p.m., the watery cloud 
then overhead partially cleared away, and disclosed a magnificent 
colourless arch about the width of a rainbow, extending nearly to the 
visible horizon at both extremities, which terminated in the ESE. 
and WSW. astronomical points. The arch, which was of per- 
fectly equal width throughout its extent, divided the heavens into 
two not very unequal portions, its centre passing about 10° south of 
the zenith. In about three minutes after I first saw it, the clouds 
again closed in, and the phenomenon disappeared, so that I had not 
sufficient time to have recourse to the altitude and azimuth instru- 
ment, or even to notice its position with respect to the fixed stars, 
but it was observed that its eastern portion covered the star Algol. 
There was no other trace of aurora in the sky, except a slight blush- 
ing in the NW. 

Remarkable Meteor. — February 22nd. — Light breeze ; fine and 
sunny, very damp day ; from 4 p.m., dense damp fog. A corre- 
spondent of the Whitehaven Herald, dating from Moresby, states 
that about eight o'clock this evening, he was startled by a sudden 
blaze of light which illuminated the whole of the surrounding country. 

On looking upwards, he saw a ball of fire, apparently as large as 
the moon, which shot off towards the sea in a westerly direction and 
nearly parallel to the horizon, assuming in its course a deep and 
beautiful green colour. The meteor was also seen from the imme- 
diate vicinity of the town, and at the most of the adjacent villages ; 

Meteorology of Whitehaven. 27 

also by persons leaving the church at Ennerdale. I was in the 
Observatory about this time, when dense fog again set in, but I did 
not perceive any trace of the meteor. The light from it was how- 
ever perceived by those walking in the streets of the town, and was 
supposed to be lightning. I am told that this object was seen at 
many other places, both in England and Scotland. 

Lunar Rainbow. — On the 20th of November, about 1 minutes 
past 7 o'cloek in the evening, a very beautiful and perfect lunar rain- 
bow was seen by Mr Isaac Fletcher, from the railway station at 
Aspatria. " The arch was bright and distinct throughout, but most 
so towards the extremities ; its colour was milky white, but towards 
its edges some of the prismatic colours were perceptible. It con- 
tinued visible nearly twenty minutes. Light rain was falling at the 
time, but the sky was quite clear towards the south, and in the north 
it was densely clouded." 

I conclude the report with a few remarks on the relative tempe- 
rature, humidity, &c, of the air, in each quarterly period, in con- 
nection with the comparative mortality in the town of Whitehaven, 
during the past year. 

January. — A very mild, damp, and wet month. The mean 
temperature and fall of rain are both above the averages of the pre- 
vious nineteen years, the former by 3°*75, and the latter 3*73 inches. 

February. — Heavy rains till the 17th ; afterwards, fair and fine 
to the end. Temperature 0°*70 above the average of the month. 
On the 23d, the barometer rose to 30-680. 

March. — Very fine, mild, and remarkably dry. The tempera- 
ture is 0°*92, or nearly 1° above the average, and the depth of rain 
only amounts to a quarter of an inch. The mean daily difference 
between the temperature of the air and of the dew-point is 9° : on 
the 19th and 29th, the difference was 14°; on the 20th, 20 c *8 ; and 
on the 21st, 18° nearly. On the 3d, the atmospheric pressure rose 
to 30*750, at 90 feet above the sea. On the 7th, a Peacock But- 
terfly was captured, and one of the Tortoise-shell species was seen in 
the vicinity of Cockermouth. On the 25th, a specimen of the Sand- 
martin (Hirundo Riparia) was shot in the same neighbourhood. 
The earliest arrivals of this bird previously on record, are the 4th 
and 11th of April. On the 23d, bees were carrying burdens. 

First Quarter. — The temperature of the quarter ending March 
31st, is 1°*79 above the average of the last nineteen years. 

The deaths in the town and suburb of Preston Quarter are 35 
under the corrected average number, which is 153. By the Regis- 
trar-General's report, it appears, " that notwithstanding the peculi- 
arities of the weather, the mortality over the kingdom has been 
considerably below the average for the season. The rate of mor- 
tality is 2*364 per cent., which is less by 0*111 than the mean 
annual rate in the ten previous winter quarters." It may be well 
to state the mode of correcting the average number of deaths in each 

28 J. F. Miller, Esq., on the 

quarter for increase in population. In 1841, the population of the 
town and suburb was 16,635; in 1848, (by a private census) 18,791 ; 
in 1845, it is assumed to have been the mean of these two periods, 
or 17,867; and, by the national census of March 31st, 1851, 
the population was 19,281. The mean of these numbers gives an 
average population of 18,143, for the thirteen years ending with 
1851, which is very nearly one-sixteenth less than the number of 
inhabitants in 1852, assuming it to be the same as in the previous 
year ; and, it is pretty certain there has been no increase in the last 
two years. Hence, to render the average quarterly mortality com- 
parable with that of corresponding periods in the year 1 852, one- 
sixteenth is added to the absolute or recorded average number of 


deaths for the preceding thirteen years. 

April. — A memorably fine, mild, and dry month. Till the 28th, 
only one slight shower of rain fell, and the entire fall slightly ex- 
ceeded an inch. The air was in a remarkably dry state, the mean 
daily difference between its temperature and that of the vapour- 
point being 14°6. On the 21st and 22d, the complement of the 
dew-point amounted to 20 o, 4 and 26°, respectively. 

The perfectly clear days are twelve in number, as many as were 
recorded throughout each of the years 1849 and 1850. In the ten 
consecutive days between the 7th and the 16th, there was no appear- 
ance of cloud, either by day or by night. The temperature is 1 0, 77 
above the average. The Cabbage butterfly was first seen on the 12th, 
and the first Swallow on the 23d, both in the immediate vicinity of 
the town. Swallows appeared in the Lake District about the 23d, 
and the Cuckoo was heard at Seathwaite on the 23d, and at Lang- 
dale Head on the 24th. On the 3d, several branches of pear-tree 
blossom were fully expanded; and, on the 18th, the hedge-rows 
near St Bees were almost in full leaf. On the 16th, the maximum 
temperature fell 15° in the preceding twenty-four hours. 

May. — A very fine, but rather cold month, the temperature being 
1°'16 below the average. Heavy showers fell almost daily between 
the 7th and the 19th ; the rest of the month was free from rain. 
On the 1st, the Corn-crake was heard at Bassenthwaite Halls, near 
the foot of Skiddaw ; and the Cuckoo was also heard for the first time 
this year. 

June. — Frequent showers, but the sun shone out on twenty-seven 
days. The temperature is o, 78 below the average, and on the 2d 
and 3d, a large quantity of hail fell at Whitehaven. On the 21st, 
we had the first cast of bees at the coast. 

Second Quarter. — The temperature of the quarter ending June 
30th, is very nearly coincident with the mean of the corresponding 
period in the previous nineteen years. The deaths are one above 
the average number. In April and the early part of May, there 
were many deaths from Phthisis, and pulmonary complaints were 
unusually fatal. According to the Registrar-General " the mortality 

Meteorology of Whitehaven. 29 

throughout England in this quarter was 2-227 per cent., which is 
slightly above the average of the season. The excess of deaths was 
chiefly in the town districts, which still maintain their fatal pre- 
eminence in destroying the lives of the population.' 1 

July and August. — The characters of these months have already 
been given. On the afternoon of the 16th of July, there was a fine 
prismatic solar halo, and another in the evening, which were fol- 
lowed at night by an awful storm of thunder, lightning, rain, and 
hail, when \\ inch of rain fell in little more than an hour. On 
the 14th, the thermometer rose to 83 degrees in the shade. The 
mean complement of the dew-point was 10°, shewing a very low 
degree of humidity in the air. The mean temperature of August 
is 1°'51 above its average value. Of the numerous and very frightful 
thunder-storms which occurred in this and the previous month, one 
was so remarkable in its effects, that I venture to give a few parti- 
culars respecting it. 

August \0th. — " A dreadful storm of thunder, lightning, and 
rain, almost directly over the town (Whitehaven), between 8 and 
11 o'clock this morning. During the height of the storm, the 
lightning entered the chimney of a house in Senhouse Street (at- 
tracted probably by an iron weathercock with which the chimney 
was surmounted), and pierced the wall, passed through an attic, 
descended by way of the staircase to the floor of the room beneath, 
passed through the floor, descended to the shop and kitchen,- and 
finally expended its force on the cellar beneath. In its progress, it 
tore a beading from a door-case on the second floor, hurling a por- 
tion of it, from which two nails protruded, against another door on 
the opposite side of the room, to which it became firmly attached by 
the nails. The fluid also struck down a woman and child who were 
entering the room by the first-mentioned door, shattered the shop- 
door, knocked down a young man who was passing the doorway at 
the moment, passed through the clock-case, and communicated a 
severe shock to a female in the kitchen, struck a boy who was sitting in 
the cellar with a child on his knee, and hurled boy and child to oppo- 
site sides of the room. Thus, independently of the female who was 
stunned in the kitchen, five persons in the house out of nine which 
it contained at the time, were prostrated by the fluid, and all at the 
same instant, — none of whom sustained any permanent injury. The 
spot at which the lightning passed through the second floor is indicated 
by a circular orifice nearly half an inch in diameter, the edges of which 
indicate the action of intense heat." A few days before, the light- 
ning descended on the gable end of a farm-house called " Game- 
rigg," near this town, from which several cart-loads of stones were 
dislodged, and projected into the interior of the building. 

September. — A fine, mild, and dry month. The temperature is 
o, 45 above its average value, and the complement of the dew-point 
is o, 5 greater than in August. Rain fell on ten days only. Hoar- 

30 J. F. Miller, Esq., on the 

frosts occurred on the mornings of the 16th and 17th, and Aurorse 
were frequent during the latter half of the month. 

An unusual number and great variety of the Lepidoptera were 
visible during the warm summer weather which was continuous dur- 
ing the first ten days. On the 10th, the writer noticed three but- 
terflies, (the Admiral, Peacock, and Tortoise-shell) all located at one 
time on a carnation plant, in a garden within the precincts of this 

Third Quarter. — The mean temperature of the quarter ending 
September 30th, is unusually high, being 2 0, 28 above its average 
value. The deaths are 73, being 48 less than the average number 
in thirteen years, corrected for increase in population ; consequently, 
this quarter has been unusually healthy at this place, notwithstand- 
ing the inordinate heat of the summer months. It would appear 
from the Registrar-General's report for this quarter, that an equally 
favourable account cannot be given of the state of the public health, 
as *' the deaths exceed the number in any of the corresponding quar- 
ters of former years, except 1846 and 1849." 

October. — A pretty fine, but cold month. Temperature 2°*10 
below the average. Thunder-storms occurred on the evenings of 
the 1st and 24th. On the 1st, Skiddaw and Great-End were 
capped with snow, the first time this autumn ; and in the evening 
of the same day, a thunder-storm occurred in the Lake District. 
On the 2d, Swallows began^ to congregate in large flocks in this 

November. — Mild and wet. The temperature is l o, 20 above its 
average value. On the 9th, about 4 h 30 m a.m., a shock of Earth- 
quake was felt by most of the inhabitants of this town who were 
awake at the time, and by many who were awoke by the convulsion. 
A low rumbling noise was succeeded by two slight but distinct shocks, 
the principal effects being the jingling of glasses, the rattling of 
crockery, and a kind of rocking motion communicated to the beds. 
In some cases, persons were awoke from a sound sleep and jumped 
on the floor, expecting an attack from some nocturnal marauder ; and 
the instances are numerous in which individuals imagined that some 
one was hidden under their beds. The earthquake appears to have 
been principally confined to the two sides of the Irish Channel, though, 
strange to say, nothing of it was experienced at sea. It was felt as 
far south as Gloucester. The temperature had been unusually high 
for ten days previous to the shock, and it fell rapidly after its occur- 
rence. Between the 9th and 10th, the mean temperature fell 9°, 
and in 48 hours, between the 8th and 10th, the mean depression 
was 15 0, 7 (14° in the maximum, and 17°' 5 in the minimum or 
night temperature). As it is well to record all the phenomena im- 
mediately preceding or following such extraordinary physical occur- 
rences, even though at the time they may seem to have no direct 
connection with the events in question, I may state, that on the day 

Meteorology of Whitehaven. 31 

succeeding the convulsion (the 10th) I noticed a very remarkable 
arched cloud, extending from SE. to NW., with numerous feathery 
offshoots, and in this respect somewhat resembling the vertebrae of a 
fish. This cloud was probably of electric origin, and it may be ob- 
served that the clouds were evidently highly electric for some time 
previous to the occurrence of the earthquake. 

There were frequent hail showers, but lightning was seen on one 
occasion only during the month.* On the night of the 29th, the 
thermometer fell to 26°*5, an unusually low temperature for the west 
coast at this early period of the winter. At 11 o'clock, on the 
morning of the 30th, the thermometer stood at 20 o, 5 on the summit 
of Sea Fell Pike, and the simultaneous temperature of evaporation 
was 19 degrees. The rain gauges were, of course, all frozen up. 
The mountains were repeatedly capped with snow, and on the 27th, 
the valleys were whitened for the first time this winter. 

December. — In many respects an extraordinary month ; besides 
being the mildest and wettest December on record, it is marked by 
sudden and enormous fluctuations of the atmospheric pressure, — by 
the small difference between the temperature of the day and night 
(5°*3) — by thunder-storms, and by two of the most terrific storms of 
wind which have visited the British Islands for many years. 

The first of the tempests or hurricanes alluded to, occurred on the 
morning of Christmas-day ; it was at its height from 3 to 5 o'clock 
a.m. ; and, during this period, it was considered to have exceeded in 
violence any storm we have had since the memorable 7th of January, 
1839. A Parhelion was seen about noon the same day, and at l h 
40 m : on the following morning, a dazzling flash of lightning was 
followed, almost instantaneously, by a terrific peal of thunder. The 
flash of lightning was one of the most intensely vivid the writer ever 
witnessed, even in a tropical climate, notwithstanding the light 
emitted by a full moon, — and the circumstance of his eyelids being 
closed at the time. The electrical discharge was immediately pre- 
ceded by a heavy hail shower, and followed by a stormy night. 

The storm of the 27th was much more persistent, and continued 
much longer than that just referred to. The moderate gale which 
prevailed on the 26th, increased greatly in violence during the night ; 
and, on the morning of the 27th, it amounted almost to a hurricane, 
attended by continuous heavy rain, till 3 o'clock in the afternoon, 
when it began to abate. At, and after noon, (about the time of high 
water) the sea had risen to a fearful height, the piers were com- 
pletely buried by the waves, and the spray was actually driven in 
vast volumes over the cliffs to the north of the town, which are about 
90 feet above the sea level, and considerably beyond high water 

* In Bassenthwaite, thunder was heard on the 5th, and again on the 27th, 
accompanied by lightning. 

32 J. F. Miller, Esq., on the 

mark at spring tides, as may be supposed from the northern line of 
railway intervening between the sea and the cliffs. The lighthouse 
keeper was imprisoned in his domicile on the West Pier (which was 
constantly deluged by the waves) throughout the previous night, and 
till 4 o'clock in the afternoon. The calculated height of the tide 
was 16 ft. 1 in., but about the time of high water, (ll h 56 m a.m.) it 
v~)sc to 24 ft., so that the waters of the Channel were elevated 8 feet 
by the force of the wind alone. Although a spring tide, vessels were 
afloat in our harbour at low water. The shipbuilding yards were 
completely flooded, the palings were washed down, and many thousand 
feet of timber were floating about, no small quantity of which (in- 
cluding several logs of not less than 30 feet in length) was carried 
away by the receding tide. In one yard, the keel of a vessel which 
had just been laid down, was washed from the stocks, and two vessels 
were completely wrecked a little to the north of the harbour. The 
Whitehaven Junction Railway sustained damage to the amount of 
£3000, by the washing down of the massive masonry constituting 
its protecting sea-wall. About 120 yards of the wall were carried 
away. A striking illustration of the force of the waves is furnished 
by the fact, that the pigs of iron with which a small vessel, stranded 
lately to the north of the harbour, had been laden, were driven right 
up against the North Pier, a distance of several hundred yards from 
the portion of the beach on which they had previously been lying, 
When the great weight of the iron pigs in proportion to the small- 
ness of the surface presented by them to the action of the water, is 
borne in mind, this fact will be deemed significant. At Maryport, 
the wooden pier and cast-iron lighthouse were completely carried 
away, and the massive logs of timber forming the piles of the pier 
were snapped off near the ground like so many desiccated sticks. At 
Flimby, near Maryport, a heavy boat was taken up by the wind, and 
carried completely over the railway embankment into an adjoining 
field. I am informed by Mr Hartnup, that the maximum horizon- 
tal force of the wind at the Liverpool Observatory, was forty-two 
pounds on the square foot, on the mornings both of the 25th and 27th. 
That faithful premonitor (when properly understood) of meteoro- 
logical changes, the Bnrometer, gave ample and significant warning 
of some extraordinary atmospheric commotion, on the preceding even- 
ing or night. At 3 p.m., on the 26th, the mercury stood at 29-296. 
I did not again particularly attend to its movements till just before 
retiring to rest at ll h 50 m , when the column was read off at 28*696, 
it having fallen -074 in the previous twenty minutes ; indeed, such was 
the rapidity with which the column fell, that the descent of the mer- 
cury was almost sensible to the visual organs ; certainly, an appre- 
ciable change was perceptible in each consecutive minute of time. At 
9 o'clock on the following morning, the column stood at 28-220 ! ! at 
noon, at 28-382, at 3 p.m., 28-802, and at midnight, at 29-162; 
the column having fluctuated through a space of 2-018 inches in 

Meteorology of Whitehaven. 33 

33 hours. Mr Forbes of Culloden states, that the depression be- 
tween 10 p.m. of the 26th and 9 a.m., on the 27th, was 0'923 inch. 
At Culloden, the mercury, at 9 a.m., stood at 27*888 ; at 11 a.m., 
27*872 (the minimum) ; and, at noon, at 27*879 ; so that the mer- 
cury, in the north of Scotland, attained its lowest depression at least 
two hours later than at Whitehaven. Between 3 p.m. of the 17th, 
and the same hour on the 18th, the barometer at Whitehaven rose 
from 28-880 to 30*142, or through the space of 1*262 inch. 

During the last two months, excessive and unprecedented floods 
prevailed from time to time all over the kingdom, particularly in the 
neighbourhood of London, at Gloucester, Lincoln, Nottingham, North 
Shields, Newcastle, Carlisle, and Cockermouth ; and, in North Wales, 
they were also of a very destructive character. In the Southern and 
Midland Counties, the great weight of water fell in November, and, 
in the Northern Counties, in December. The floods visited the Lake 
District last of all ; they were at their height from the 12th to the 
17th ; but the whole country was deluged with water till the close 
of the year. At several stations, the depth of rain in December ex- 
ceeded 31 and 32 perpendicular inches, equalling the average for all 
England for twelve months. The greatest fall (34-60 inches) took 
place on the " Stye," in Borrowdale, 948 feet above the sea level, 
or 580 feet above the hamlet of Seathwaite and about a mile 
distant from it. 

The mean difference between the temperature of the air and 
that of the dew-point is only 2 0- 86. Lightning was seen on five 
days or nights during the month, on two occasions accompanied by 
loud thunder ; and the new year was ushered in by a storm of thun- 
der, lightning, and hail, which continued three-quarters of an hour. 
Numerous shooting stars and caudated meteors were noticed during 
the rare and transient intervals of clear sky. 

Last Quarter. — The mean temperature of the quarter ending De- 
cember 31st, is 1°-19 above its average value, and the fall of rain is 
very much greater than is due to the season. The deaths in the 
town and suburb were 131, or four under the average number for 
the autumn quarter. Febrile diseases, the ordinary concomitants of 
an unnaturally high temperature conjoined with excessive humidity, 
were very prevalent towards the close of the year ; and scarlet fever 
was very fatal amongst young children. 

By the Registrar-Generai's report for this quarter, it appears, 
" that the rate of mortality in the last quarter of 1852, throughout 
England, is 2-197 per cent., which is higher than the average rate, 
or than the mortality in the corresponding quarters of 1842-45, in 
1848, in 1850-51, but much lower than 2-545 and 2-389, the 
rates of mortality in 1846-47. It is found that the mortality in 
the town districts was, during the quarter, at the rate of 2*514 per 

VOL. LV. NO. CIX. — JULY 1853. C 

34 J. F. Miller, Esq., on the 

cent, per annum, which is below the average (2*579), while the mor- 
tality in the country districts was at the rate of 1*982 per cent, per 
annum, or somewhat above the average of the corresponding quarter 

The mean difference between the temperature of the air and of 
the dew-point, in 1852, (7°*51) is greater than in any year since 

1847, indicating a more than ordinarily low hygrometrical state of 
the air. 

The deaths in the town and suburb of Preston Quarter, in 1852, 
are 445, which is 85, or 16 per cent, below the annual average 
number in 13 years, corrected for increase in population. The 
births, (717 in number) exceed the deaths by 272, and are 43 
above the corrected average number for the same period. 

The mortality in the town and suburb, in 1852, with a popula- 
tion of 19,281, is exactly equivalent to 23 deaths per thousand, or 
one death in every 43*3 inhabitants. 

The average number of deaths in the 13 years ending with 1851, 
is 499, which, with an assumed population of 18,143, gives 27*5 
deaths per thousand, or one death in every 36*3 persons. 

The sanitary condition of the town of Whitehaven has been gra- 
dually improving during the last three years. In 1846, 1847, and 

1848, (assumed average population 18,329) the mean annual num- 
ber of deaths is 694, being 37' 8 deaths per thousand, or one in 
every 26*4 inhabitants in those three exceedingly fatal years. 

In 1849, the mortality is equivalent to 32-2 deaths per thousand, 
or one in every 31 persons ; in 1850, to 24-9 deaths per thousand, 
or one in every 40 individuals ; and, in 1851, to 23*4 deaths per 
thousand, or one death in every 42*6 inhabitants. 

The writer cannot conclude this report with satisfaction to him- 
self, without briefly referring to the character and influence of this 
most remarkable year, in connection with a favourite department of 
scientific research. A more unfavourable year for the successful pro- 
secution of delicate astronomical work could scarcely occur, and I 
question whether an epoch equally antagonistic to his pursuits will 
present itself to the recollection of the oldest British astrometer. 
Rain fell, almost uninterruptedly, from the commencement of the 
year 1852, till the 18th of February ; dry weather then set in, and' 
continued till the 28th of April — ten weeks ; during this protracted 
period of drought, although there was a large proportion of clear 
sky, yet, from the extremely low hygrometrical condition of the air, 
celestial objects were generally indifferently defined, and the images 
unsteady, and, on many occasions, the atmosphere was in the worst 
possible state for determining the angles of Position and the Dis- 
tances of the binary stars. On several nights, which were perfectly 
clear to the eye, stellar systems of fully 3" central distance, such 

Meteorology of Whitehaven. 35 

as y Virginis and g Ursse Majoris, did not shew any symp- 
toms of duplicity ; in fact, they were mere patches of diffused light, 
resembling single stars greatly out of focus, or imperfectly-seen ir- 
resolvable nebulosities, or masses of fine white wool. An unusual 
number of cloudy nights obtained in the generally clear month of 
October, and November and December, from their excessive wet- 
ness, militated even more strongly than did January and February 
against the labours of the astronomer. 

On the few clear evenings in November and December, the pla- 
net Saturn presented a superb telescopic object, with his multiple 
rings, (now nearly at their greatest breadth) his belts, shadows, and 
numerous satellites. The newly discovered transparent (and conse- 
quently fluid or gaseous) inner dark ring was permanently and 
steadily seen where it crosses the ball, even in the twilight, and in 
full moonlight, and, on rare occasions, the nebulosity was also per- 
ceptible at the Ansce, in the dark space between the inner bright ring 
and the ball. On some evenings, the five old satellites, 

Japetus, Titan, Rhea, Dione, Tethys, 

were all visible at one time in the field of the equatorial telescope 
at this Observatory ; and the instrument being moved by a sidereal 
clock, enables the observer leisurely to examine the details of the 
truly beautiful celestial picture presented to his view. Perhaps no 
one ever gazed upon this magnificent orb for the first time, through 
a telescope of great power, without uttering a cry of admiration. 
And, surely, strange must be the constitution of that mind, and great 
the obliquity of. the intellect, which could behold and study a scene so 
marvellously grand and unique in the Universe, without being forcibly 
struck with the evidence of design, and with the wonderful adaptation 
of means to ends therein displayed, — without feeling impressed with a 
deeper sense of the inconceivable vastness of the Divine attributes 
manifested in the creation, and ever active, ever patent to the men- 
tal and moral perception of man, in the sustentation and preservation 
of this, and countless other and doubtless still more majestic and stu- 
pendous globes dispersed through the unfathomable immensities of 

The Observatory, Whitehaven, 
March 3d, 1853. 

* This paper has l>een extended to an unusual length, the writer having en- 
deavoured to make it sufficiently comprehensive, to serve as a permanent record 
of the Climate of England, during one of the most remarkable years in the cur- 
rent century. 



The Rain- Gauge ; the most efficient Form, Size, and Position. 
Deduced from Experiments with many Gauges, during 
several years. By Mr James Straton, Aberdeen. Com- 
municated by the Author. (With a Plate.) 

It will appear paradoxical to many, as it long did to me, 
but seems nevertheless to be indubitable, that the most effi- 
cient rain-gauge, the most accurate by far, in testing circum- 
stances, is the smallest, the simplest, and the least expensive 
gauge known. 

Three papers have appeared on the subject of rain and the 
rain-gauge during the last ten years ; (1.) by James Dalma- 
hoy, Esq. (Philosophical Journal, Edinburgh, vol. xxxiii., 
pp. 8-10, 1842), shewing that the quantity of rain increases in 
its progress downwards ; (2.) by Thomas Stevenson, Esq., 
in the same volume of the Journal (pp. 10-21), on the imper- 
fections of the gauges in use ; and (3.) by the Rev. John 
Fleming, D.D. (Philosophical Journal, vol. lxvii., pp. 182-187, 
1849) on a simple form of rain-gauge. The following is in- 
tended as supplemental to the preceding papers ; and I wish 
to be understood as homologating their conclusions, except in 
so far as more extended experience has pointed out mistakes 
or suggested improvements. 

The " great flood of '29" attracted special attention to the 
subject of rain in the north of Scotland. Gauges were soon 
after planted where they had never been before, and ob- 
servers kept registers in Aberdeen and other places who had 
not previously done so ; but so imperfectly were the essen- 
tials of size, shape, and proper position of the rain gauge 
understood, that, ten years afterwards, namely, at the close 
of 1839, there was abundant room for doubt as to whether 
the clouds had poured 25 inches, 34 inches, or some inter- 
mediate or other unknown quantity of water, on the granite 
city during said year. 

Wishing to construct and use some rain-gauges, I found 
the subject so much involved in mystery and contradiction 
that the only point quite clear was, there must be much error 
somewhere, but we know not where. This state of knowledge 

Edin T New Phil Jour. 

Plate. I. 

VoLLV: p 3 6. 










^ 2. 




Mr James Straton on the Rain-Gauge. 37 

(or ignorance) was considerably more important than flatter- 
ing, and the only alternative in the circumstances was to 
test the various points in doubt by a series of experiments. 
This I proceeded with as follows :— I had six sets of gauges 
prepared and. planted in as many separate localities. Each 
set consisted of four gauges of the respective diameters of 
one, two, three, and eighteen inches. It was desirable for prac- 
tical purposes to determine what is the smallest size of gauge 
which can be used, consistent with accurate results. This could 
only be determined by experiment, and hence my reason for 
planting gauges of one, two, and three inches diameter. A 
brief summary of the proceedings and conclusions attained 
will suffice. 

Position. — As Mr Dalmahoy had demonstrated that the 
quantity of rain increases in its progress downward, I first 
planted the gauges with the mouths of the receivers level, 
or nearly so, with the surface of the soil, but I soon found 
very conflicting results ; I soon found that the quantity of 
water registered by each gauge was influenced in some way 
by the state of the surrounding surface — (1.) when it was a 
smooth well-kept grass lawn, the gauges registered most uni- 
formly with each other, and the smallest quantity of rain 
during a given week, month, or quarter ; (2.) when it was 
soft, pulverised, uncovered earth, there was a greater quan- 
tity of water in the same period, and the gauges were less 
uniform with each other in the quantity registered ; and (3.) 
When the surface was a hard smooth gravel- walk, there was 
the greatest quantity registered, and the least uniformity in 
the registrations. Another circumstance which arrested my 
attention was, that in all the gauges there was a quantity of 
earthy matter, sand, and clay, settled to the bottom and fre- 
quently adhering to the in sides of the receivers. Whether 
this matter was blown in by the wind, or washed in by the 
rain, became an important question to settle. I therefore 
continued the experiments through several months, during 
which the soil was so wet that dust could not be blown by 
the wind. Still the earth, sand, and clay, found their way 
into the gauges as before. It also became obvious that the 
quantity of earth in the gauges at the end of each month 
bore a proportion (1.) to the quantity of rain which had fallen, 

38 Mr James Straton on the Rain- Gauge. 

— the greater the quantity of the one, so was there of the other ; 
(2.) to the state of the surrounding surface — there was least 
earth as well as least water from the grassy surface, more 
earth and most water from the hard smooth gravel, and most 
earth with less water from soft bare soil. It was now de- 
monstrated, in the first place, that the solid matter had been 
driven into the gauges by the water, not the wind. The 
drops of rain, on striking the ground, had been spattered 
about, carrying particles of clay, sand, &c, with the water 
into the gauges. But the second and most important particu- 
lar demonstrated was, that all the gauges so placed regis- 
tered too much rain, because they received a quantity of 
water from the ground as well as their due proportion from 
the clouds. But if they are liable to fallacy in rain they are 
much more so when the water falls in the state of snow, and 
more particularly under the action of wind. This is the 
trying test of all gauges in every position, and of every form 
and size. All varieties of ground surface are soon reduced 
to one, that of snow, hard or soft, loose or dense, as the case 
may be. The ingenious device, suggested by Mr Stevenson, 
of a brush with the bristles pointing upwards round the 
mouth of the receiver, would probably be more efficient than 
the grass in preventing the spattering of water, but the 
bristles of the brush, as well as the grass, even the whin 
bush, and the hawthorn hedge, are often cased up in snow in 
a few hours ; then all is smooth and level. In calm, the par- 
ticles of snow and hail would dance as they fell, some leaping 
into the gauge, and some away from it. In wind, the gauge, 
whether large or small, would soon be filled by the surface 
drift, though it got none from the clouds. 

The accompanying sketch of a scene which I passed through 
on the morning of the 17th February 1853, will give an idea 
of the difficulty of approximating accuracy with gauges, under 
the action of wind and snow. The sketch represents a section 
of a tolerably level plain, extending about a mile from north to 
south, and nearly as much from east to west. A public road 
has been formed at B, C, D, about 20 feet broad. The bank 
A, on the north side, is about 12 feet deep, with a stone fence 
on the top, about 3 feet high. On the opposite side are a 

Mr James Straton on the Rain-Gauge. 39 

retaining wall E, and fence, 10 to 12 feet high. During the 
four preceding days the wind was moderately strong from the 
NE., with showers, and the bank of snow B, was formed on 
the road. On the night 16-17, much snow fell, with a 
high wind, and the bank C was formed above B, up to the 
level of the stone fence on A, and extending over to within 
about 4 feet of the fence E, terminating in a thin crest over 
which the snow was blown by a strong wind. In the bottom 
of the ravine D, formed by the snow and the opposite wall, 
the snow was only a few inches deep, and the only difficulty 
in passing along the ravine arose from the suffocating cloud, 
formed of minute particles of snow, whirled by the wind in 
the cavity I), then tossed over the fence E, and spread on the 
adjoining field. From E to H is a slightly undulated sur- 
face of nearly half a mile, over which the wind and snow 
swept pretty freely. The wall H is about 10 feet high, run- 
ning east and west. The wind being from the north, a bank 
of snow about two feet high, was formed at G, some three 
feet from the wall. From the crest of this bank a shower 
of snow, like the spray from the crest of a wave in a stormy 
sea, poured up over the wall H, crossed the road I, some 20 
feet broad, and was spread over the field K. On the road I, 
the snow was only three or four inches deep, so that loaded 
carts were passing with ease, whilst the field K was covered 
to the depth of about two feet. Now, let us suppose for a 
moment that the cavity B, C, D, over the road, is the receiver 
of a huge rain gauge, placed on a level with the ground ; we 
see that it gets filled with snow by a little from the clouds 
and a large quantity from the adjacent plain. Let the other 
road H, I, be a similar receiver, raised eight, ten, or twenty feet 
above the ground ; we see that it gets almost no snow, 
either from above or below. The wind passes over the wall, 
forms a whirl in the cavity, and tosses the snow into the next 
field. I know not, therefore, how to place very large re- 
ceivers so that they shall do their duty. We shall see what 
may be done with very small ones. 

When I was studying this part of the subject some ten 
years ago, I frequently went into the fields during rain to 
notice the action of the falling drops on the mineral and ve- 

40 Mr James Straton on the Rain-Gauge. 

getable surfaces ;' and I found that, on placing the eye near 
the level of the tops of the plants, — of growing corn for ex- 
ample, — beyond which was a dark background, such as a 
ploughed field or brown heather moor ; that there was a gray 
mist over the green surface, to the height of eight, ten, and 
sometimes twelve inches, above which it could not be seen. 

This mist, I inferred, was partly, at least, if not wholly, 
formed of the particles of water impinged from the 
vegetable surfaces, when the drops of rain were broken to 
pieces by the force with which they fell. Hence, I farther 
inferred that every gauge must necessarily register too much 
rain if the mouth of the receiver be not raised above the 
mist or spray which I had seen. From that time I continued 
to raise all the gauges in the bare soil and gravel-walks, little 
by little, month after month, and had the satisfaction to find, 
as I did so, that the excess of water registered, compared 
with those in the grass lawn, gradually diminished, and that 
the registration of all the gauges became more and more uni- 
form with each other, until it was frequently impossible to 
detect the hundredth part of an inch of difference in the quan- 
tities registered from the first to the last day of the month. 
The most frequent exceptions to the rule of uniformity were 
the largest gauges (18 inches diameter), which generally re- 
gistered less than the smaller ones ; — an important fact to be 
kept in view for notice farther on. After they were elevated 
13, 14, and 15 inches, the earthy matters were not again 
found in the water, nor adhering to the insides of the re- 
ceivers, although the outsides of the gauges were generally 
bespattered from the ground upwards to some distance. The 
following examples shew the registrations of gauges of va- 
rious sizes and in different positions, during the two months' 
greatest quantity of rain which occurred during the experj^ 
ments : — 

At surface-level in 




15 inches. 

Nov. 1842. 

Oct. 1846. 

1 inch diam 

. 5-33 
















Mr James Straton on the Rain- Gauge. 41 

From what has been said, it appears that from 14 to 18 
inches above the snrface of the soil is a proper position for 
the mouth of the receiver of the rain-gauge, (1.) because there 
the rain-drops have received their proper additions from the 
atmosphere ; (2.) because there they have received no addition 
from the surface of the ground ; but (3.), and chiefly, because 
the most suitable form of gauge, for accuracy in practice, has, 
when so planted, about 20 inches of its cistern or stem below 
the surface of the ground, and being thereby placed beyond 
the influence of all the ordinary, and most of the extraordinary 
vicissitudes of temperature, is protected from evaporation 
by heat in summer, and destruction by frost in winter. Mr 
Thorn's rain-gauge, used and described by Dr Fleming, is a 
cylinder immersed to the surface-level of the ground; and he 
frequently told me that, during the warmest and least rainy 
months of summer, he never detected any perceptible dimi- 
nution of the water in the gauge from evaporation. As this 
is quite consistent with my own experience, I leave the point 
as settled ; but the frost in winter is the inveterate enemy, 
the insuperable barrier, indeed, to the general and con- 
stant use of the rain-gauge as it is usually made and planted. 

Few observers are willing to empty their gauges habi- 
tually more frequently than once or twice a month. During 
the course of my experiments, some eight or nine instruments 
were planted by different observers in and about the locality 
but one after another they have all disappeared. They were 
made, some of copper, some of zinc, others of iron or tinplate. 
They were each enclosed in a wooden case, and the whole 
instrument was above ground, from three to five feet being 
the favourite height for the mouth of the receiver. Almost 
every night that a smart frost set in after rain, when the 
gauge contained water, it was frozen, and the metal gene- 
rally burst, as a matter of course. The observers persevered 
in repairs day after day, winter after winter, till wearied out, 
sooner or later, the repair was left undone, the gauge was 
useless, neglected, and became a wreck. 

I have never yet seen or heard of an instance of freezing 
in one of my gauges, some of which have been in constant 
use for six, seven, and eight years. It is quite possible to 

42 Mr James Straton on the Rain- Gauge. 

happen, however, but only on those rare occasions, once in 
ten, fifteen, or twenty years perhaps, when intense frost, con- 
tinued for many days, penetrates deep into the soil, attracts 
the attention of all, and would of course warn and remind the 
observer to have his gauge empty. 

Size. — I began experimenting under impressions re- 
garding the size of gauges similar to those stated by Mr 
Stevenson, thus : — " But it seems probable that the larger 
they are made the better, and for ordinary use they could be 
conveniently enough constructed of from two to four feet 
diameter." I had no very definite notions, however, as to 
the why or wherefore a large should be superior in any par- 
ticular to a small gauge. I close the experiments, convinced 
that instruments from four or five inches to as many yards in 
diameter are far, very far inferior in point of accuracy, in our 
climate, to those of one, two, and three inches wide. The want 
of uniformity of registration, which I always regarded as proof 
of want of accuracy also, noticeable from the beginning of 
the experiments, I was never able to trace to the difference 
of size of the gauges forming the sets. But when I ulti- 
mately obtained a very near approach to uniformity by 
raising them beyond the reach of the spray from the ground, 
which was so clearly a disturbing cause, I was then surprised 
to find that, while the small gauges of one, two, and three 
inches were remarkably uniform with each other in the quan- 
tities registered, the large gauges of eighteen inches diame- 
ter were in general considerably below, and in no instance 
did they exceed the small gauges in the quantity registered. 
At first I suspected error in the measurement or graduation 
of the instruments, but on examination found them all equally 
accurate. The question now came to be, did the small regis- 
ter too much, or the large gauges too little rain % The very 
close and habitual uniformity of the small gauges, I could not 
but regard as presumptive proof, at least, of their accuracy 
also ; but how the large gauges recorded too little rain was 
not at all obvious at first sight. The sagacious remark of the 
keeper of the Buchanness lighthouse, quoted by Mr Stevenson, 
and verified, as it is, by most of his intelligent co-labourers 
at the stations round the coast, gave me the right clue to 

Mr James Straton on the Raiti-Gauge. 43 

the mystery, " When there is no wind it (the gauge) is very 
near the truth ; the more wind the farther from the truth." 
Yes ; I have stood by the gauges in rain and in snow, in 
calm and in storm, and seen the truth of the statement de- 
monstrated many, many times. Indeed, all are familiar with 
facts which demonstrate the proposition, though they may 
not have drawn the important inference from what they saw. 
When we witness the action of the driving gale, as, loaded 
with the feathery flakes, it sweeps over the crested ridge of 
the bank or wave of snow, we see the particles just when 
they pass the crest, make a somersault, as it were, and fly off, 
over the adjoining wall, some ten or twelve feet high, per- 
hapsto some distance, where theyfall,and form a second bank. 
We see also that the lee or lithe side of the bank is generally 
scooped out in a kind of circular hollow, beyond which 
the ground is for some distance cleared of snow. (Plate I., 
D and I, fig. 1.) Now, the mouth or orifice of the receiver 
is always in the lee-side of the run or lip, on passing over 
which the wind, when strong enough, makes a whirl, and away 
it flies over the opposite lip, carrying the particles of rain or 
snow with it. It is in such circumstances that the efficiency 
of gauges is put to the severest test. If they fail, they are 
worthless ; and the most ample, elaborate, and expensive 
instruments I have seen do fail in such circumstances. All 
the " eye-traps or gimcracks, usually set up as rain-gauges" 
as Dr Fleming expresses it, are worthless, yea, worse than 
worthless, because they mislead, compared with a plain piece 
of tube an inch or two wide, by three or four long, which 
may be purchased in any town for a penny or two. 

The one, two, and three inches diameter gauges, particularly 
the first and second, always register the most uniformly and 
the greatest quantity, not a trifling or unimportant quantity, 
but to the almost incredible extent of a third and a fourth 
part more than the large gauges, during gales of wind. Now, 
I can only account for this by the fact, which I have often 
observed, that in small or narrow openings the wind does not 
form a whirl sufficiently powerful, excepting perhaps in some 
extremely rare instances, to carry the particles of rain or 
snow out of the small, and away as it does out of the larger 

44 Mr James Straton on the Rain-Gauge. 

gauges. But the shape has also much to do in the matter 
as well as the size of the receiver ; and this is the next par- 
ticular we will glance at. 

Shape or Form. — If we take a number of vessels of different 
shapes and sizes — say a soup plate and a flat one, a tea cup and 
saucer, a wash-hand basin, a washing-tub of the largest size, 
a strong ale-glass, and a lady's thimble — if we take these and 
arrange them level, a foot or two from the ground, in the 
field or open plain where wind has free scope every way, we 
may test the question of efficient size and shape of the rain- 
gauge to any extent. When the drops of rain and the snow 
float gently down in the calm, all are equally efficient, all re- 
gister quantity in proportion to the area or surface expan- 
sion ; but when the wind, " blowing great guns," drives the 
dry snow over the plain, all are equally useless, excepting 
the ale-glass and thimble. 

This needs only to be considered for a little to be assented 
to and appreciated. The plates will remain empty, and the 
saucer nearly so (the particles being blown out as fast as 
they are blown in), the basin will not be so full as the cup, 
and the washing-tub will have little more in proportion to 
its size than either the basin or saucer. The whirl which 
carries the particles from the crested bank to the next one, 
some 50 or 100 yards off, is about as efficient in emptying the 
tub as the plate, but the limited opening of the glass or the 
thimble annihilates the whirl of the wind as effectually as 
the cage arrests the gambols of the imprisoned elephant ; all 
the particles that enter the orifice drop quietly down, and 
render their account when called on. 

Of the various shapes of gauges in use — square, round, 
and oblong — I much prefer the round. I have not indeed 
tested the square forms in every variety to be able to pro- 
nounce definitely on their merits, but all of them seem to be 
peculiarly objectionable, from the amount of commotion or 
deflection caused in the passing stream of air, compared with 
that caused by a round, or cylinder of the same diameter. 

I have already shewn the noxious effects of commotion in 
and about the gauge so fully as to have demonstrated, I pre- 
sume, that the form and size of instrument which creates 

Mr James Straton on the Rain-Gauge. 45 

commotion to the least possible extent, must necessarily be 
the best in constant efficiency and accuracy. All the square 
form of gauges which I have seen used, seem to me to com- 
bine the defects of the worst round ones, in an exaggerated 
degree, but experiment only can settle the question. This 
much I consider certain, however, that the round is not 
inferior in efficient accuracy, and is decidedly superior in 
strength and facility of construction. Of the round form of 
gauges, some are conical, like the common tin funnel used in 
filling bottles— some are oval like the egg-shell from which 
we cut off the broader end at breakfast, and others are cylin- 
drical like a piece of plain tube. If they are narrow, and 
deep in proportion to their diameter, all are about equally 
useful. If they are broad and shallow, about as deep as 
they are wide, they are all about equally useless. Of the 
three I prefer the cylinder, about an inch and half in dia- 
meter, and three to four times as deep — say 6 inches — as it 
is wide. 

I have not selected the inch and half receiver, because it is 
superior to either the one or the two inch diameter, but be- 
cause it is not inferior to these, and is also large enough for 
strength of material, and facility for accurate construction. 

The following readings during the past year (quite con- 
sistent with preceding years) are given to shew the registra- 
tion of an instrument of the form and size just described in 
comparison with an oval (egg-shell shape) receiver of 6^ 
inches diameter by 5J deep. The latter is an elaborate and 
complicated instrument of copper, glass and brass, planted 
at the Girdleness lighthouse ; it is one of many similar be- 
longing to the Northern Lights Commission. The two 
gauges are situate but a short distance apart, and under pre- 
cisely similar circumstances. 

1852. 1853. 

O * ft £ £ 
431 3-3 5-2 3-1 3'88 1 Monthly 
I depthsof 

6 1 0-2 0-6 1-75 2-1 154 2-14 3.0 3-14 2-38 381 264 2-1*/ She's & 


* Dry snow with strong gales of wind throughout the month. 







0-53 0-6 















46 Mr James Straton on the Rain-Gauge. 

In the summer months, we have gentle showers, with little 
wind, and the records are almost identical ; but in the winter 
months, when heavy rains, snow, and strong winds prevail, 
then the difference is quite enormous, being fully a fourth 
part of the quantity registered. Like the flat plate and the 
saucer — equally useful in calm, equally useless in storm — 
with this all-important difference, however, that the elabo- 
rate and expensive gauge is not simply useless, but posi- 
tively pernicious, because it is trusted in as truthful, yet is 
really false. It is much to be regretted that the enlightened 
and liberal intentions of the Commissioners to serve science 
and humanity are so completely frustrated in this respect. 

Materials. — Gauges are sometimes made of zinc, tin, and 
iron, but copper is most generally preferred. Most of those 
which are considered the best in use, have the receiver and 
part of the cistern of copper, the other part of the cistern of 
glass, and a brass plate attached, on which the scale is en- 
graved. This form of the instrument is simple enough in 
use, but it is the most complicated and costly in construc- 
tion, and decidedly the most liable to destruction, from al- 
ternations of temperature, particularly from frost in winter, 
by the unequal contraction and expansion of the different 

As glass is found suitable for part, it must be much more 
suitable for the whole of the cistern, being much less liable 
to injury from change of temperature when alone than com- 
bined with any of the common metals ; and being suitable 
for the cistern, it is equally so for the receiver, — for the 
whole instrument, in a word. 

I consider glass a peculiarly suitable material for the rain- 
gauge ; because (1.) the workmanship is so simple that the 
price is trifling, whilst it can be accurately measured and 
graduated, and consequently it will be as efficient in use as 
any other material. (2.) It is also the most simple in use. 
The scale can be engraved on the cistern ; the quantity can 
be seen at any moment, without measuring, adjustment, or 
calculation : the readings can be taken and the record kept 
by any boy or girl who can read and write inches and deci- 
mals. (3.) There is least error from evaporation. Every 

Mr James Straton on the Rain-Gauge. 47 

gauge, even the most perfect, registers too litle rain, because 
the quantity required to wet the inside of the receiver is 
dried up, evaporated between showers three or four hundred 
times every year. Now, water passes off glass very much as 
it does from a cabbage leaf or a duck's back, so that the loss 
from evaporation is reduced to the least quantity. (4.) The 
strength is ample for every purpose of fair wear. The glass 
gauge is as safe as our windows — much more safe than our 
roof-lights, our cupolas, our greenhouses, and conservato- 
ries. A heavy knock, or severe frost, is destruction to the 
copper and iron gauge as certainly as the glass. In the form 
of gauge which I propose, the risk from frost (the implacable 
enemy of the rain-gauge, as I have said) is avoided by the 
position of the cistern in the ground. Lastly, Glass is not 
liable to rust and corrode like iron by constant exposure in all 
weathers ; it requires neither paint nor varnish at any time, 
and, except broken by accident, it continues sound and effi- 
cient from age to age. 

The gauge I refer to (fig. 2) may be described as a small 
bottle turned upside down, and the bottom cut off. The body 
of the bottle forms the receiver A, one and a half inches 
wide by six deep ; the neck, extended to 30 inches long by 
f wide, forms the cistern B, on which the scale is engraved, 
and the instrument is complete. The quantity of water 
which would fill one inch of the receiver fills about five inches 
of the cistern ; consequently, each inch of the scale is about 
five inches, and each tenth about half an inch long. The 
tenth may be easily subdivided into five or ten parts, and the 
readings taken to the hundredth part of an inch. A frame, 
C, formed of four slips of oak deal, is firmly planted in the 
ground ; into this frame the gauge is passed down easily, but 
without room to shake, and the whole is ready for use. The 
line D represents the level of the ground, above which the 
mouth of the receiver should be 15 or 16 inches elevated, and 
quite level. The observer can draw up the gauge at any 
moment, read the depth of water, empty it as often as he 
thinks proper, and replace the gauge in its position. 

This, the most accurate and efficient form and size of the 
rain-gauge — an instrument so essential to science and the 

48 Mr James Straton on the Rain-Gauge. 

first arts of life, to the meteorologist, the agriculturist, the 
engineer, the farmer, and the gardener — is so simple, and can 
be produced at a price so trifling, that it may find a place in 
the garden-plot of every respectable cottager, as well as in 
the lawn of the landed proprietor. The extended use of the 
rain-gauge thus permitted, may form a powerful means of 
leading the advancing intelligence and activity of the rural 
population to habits of correct observation, scientific rea- 
soning, and more rational views of weather and climate, than 
the prognostications contained in the pages of "Belfast Al- 
manacs," and publications of similar " respectability ." 

One of the most important conclusions resulting from the 
foregoing facts, — a conclusion as painful as it is important, — 
is, that all the data yet collected, all the rain -registers of this 
and other countries, are vitiated to some unknown extent in 
consequence of the imperfections of the instruments used. 
The larger gauge, of which the registration is given in com- 
parison with the smaller one, page 37, is superior in size and 
form of receiver (elliptical, 6 J inches wide by 5 J deep) to most 
of those which I have seen in use. Nevertheless, it will be 
observed that the record of the smaller during the six months 
preceding this date is fully six inches more than that of the 
larger gauge ; being less and in error nearly a fourth part of 
the annual average depth of rain on the spot. It becomes ne- 
cessary, therefore, in order to give scientific value to the past 
labours of meteorologists in this department of their work, 
to plant more efficient instruments beside those hitherto used, 
and by years of comparison discover the probable amount of 
error in recorded observations. Registers of the rain fallen 
have, for example, been kept here during the past thirty years, 
and these give twenty- six inches as the yearly average depth 
of water, but my investigations shew that, though the records 
for the summer months may be near the truth, they are not 
so during the heavy rains and snow with strong wind in the 
winter months. The amount of error is so great that the 
yearly average must be at least thirty instead of twenty- 
six inches depth of rain. 

3 Kingsland Place, George Street, Aberdeen, 
1st March 1853. 


The Royal Observatory of Scotland. 

From the annual Report presented by the Astronomer to 
the Board of Visitors, approved of by them, and since pub- 
lished, we find that much has been done, but that more still 
remains to do. 

All the old observations have been computed and printed, as 
testified by the recent appearance of the tenth volume of the 
"Edinburgh Astronomical Observations;" but their importance 
is much diminished by the poverty of the establishment in in- 
strumental means, and in the manual resources absolutely ne- 
cessary to complete the scientific investigations which have 
been commenced. 

The Astronomer has clearly pointed out in his report what 
these desiderata are ; and they appear to be generally such as 
have already been granted to other Observatories and rival 
establishments ; and that, not only in this country, but in 
others also where science is not generally supposed to 
flourish. Thus one of the observatories in Rome has just 
obtained from the Government there, one of the very addi- 
tions to its means, which has for several years past been 
annually applied for by the Edinburgh Observatory, but in 
vain. Scotland, which justly considers itself in so many 
points to be better circumstanced than Rome, has not in its 
scientific department the same attention from her rulers. 

We trust, however, that this neglect will not last long, 
and then, from the programme of proceedings laid down in 
this report, we may expect a greatly increased importance 
to attach to the Edinburgh observations. 

The use, indeed, which the astronomer proposes to make 
of the proposed addition to his instrumental means, appears 
so novel in its character, as well as promising and effective 
in its results, that we subjoin here the concluding part of his 

" The previous headings, together with an actual inspection 
of the instruments and books at the Observatory, will give 
the Board a fair idea of what has been accomplished during 
the past year ; but looking also, and more wisely, beyond 

VOL. LV. NO. CIX. — JULY 1853. D 

50 TJie Royal Observatory of Scotland. 

the mere details of office work, to the general results on the 
cultivation of science and the development of discovery, the 
Visitors will perhaps hardly rest satisfied with the comple- 
tion merely of an accustomed annual task, when that is shewn 
to be insufficient for the advancing knowledge and require- 
ments of the times. When other observatories are progress- 
ing, the Board has shewn, by its recommendations to the 
Government in past years, that it will not consent to this 
one alone being retarded for want of any necessary mechani- 
cal means, which a small sum of money could easily provide ; 
and their late chairman laid it down that the astronomer was 
in duty bound to be ever on the watch for instrumental im- 
provements on every side, abroad as well as at home, and 
that the fame of the visitors, the astronomer, and the obser- 
vatory, would depend on the success with, and the extent to 
which these improvements should be introduced from time 
to time. 

" No one acquainted with the history of Astronomy, or with 
that of the other sciences, but knows the propriety, nay, even 
the necessity of these views. In proportion always as obser- 
vation was cultivated, so did the science improve. As sure 
as it was neglected for theory alone, so certainly did men 
run into confusion and error. In these days we have, it is 
true, a theory, arrived at by means of a vast amount of ob- 
servation, and, therefore, generally right, nay, even absolutely 
right in principle; yet the application of that theory to the 
phenomena of the heavens, must in every instance depend 
upon observation. In proportion as these are still improved, 
theory can be applied with more exactness and success ; 
while a long vista of discovery opens before us, when we find 
that the art of observing is still very improvable. We only 
require, then, to go forward in the path pointed out by 
theory, and rendered possible by practice ; and we shall be 
enabled thereby to mark our own age in the history of science 
as one in which new facts of nature have been discovered, 
and new truths developed ; and which will have shewn itself 
a worthy successor to that of the Greeks, and of the highest 
minds of all nations, by taking up the sum of knowledge 
handed down to us by them, and transmitting it, with in- 

The Royal Observatory of Scotland. 51 

crease of lustre and substance, for the instruction and the 
emulation of posterity. 

" In this spirit, and remembering well that the first duty of 
Observatories is to procure observations, and those of the 
utmost attainable accuracy, the Greenwich Observatory has 
been furnished, amongst other recent additions, with a mag- 
nificent meridian instrument, of greater power than the world 
ever saw before ; and the results are already so promising, 
that a similar instrument has been ordered for the Observa- 
tory at the Cape of Good Hope. 

" I cannot refuse my meed of admiration to the inventor of 
that instrument, or to allow that such a construction would 
be a notable improvement upon our meridian instruments 
here ; but having always restricted myself in my public de- 
mands to the most urgent necessities ; having rather waited 
until the case itself impelled something to be done ; and 
having, moreover, distinct ideas on the separate path which 
should be pursued by each observatory ; I can freely leave 
these more fortunate establishments to pursue their glorious 
future ; and would only re-urge again upon the attention of 
the visitors, the great importance of the speedy acquisition 
of a proper equatorial instrument ; together with the various 
items which formed the subject of their recommendation last 

" Our Meridian Instruments, though now less powerful than 
those at Greenwich, may do much good work ; and if aided 
to the utmost by an efficient Equatorial, will, I feel confident, 
satisfy the expectations of the friends of this Institution. I 
have nothing then to alter on my reports of former years, 
for nothing therein requested can be spared ; and I will now 
merely add, that, when once procured, these new means and 
appliances would enable us to carry out, with hardly any in- 
crease of time and labour, one of the most important and 
comprehensive improvements in Practical Astronomy, that 
has ever fallen to the lot of any observatory, in these ad- 
vanced times in which we live. 

" I have already remarked that the healthy progress of As- 
tronomy depending upon observation, — the whole question 
of the true and the false hypothesis often hanging upon the 


52 The Royal Observatory of Scotland. 

closeness with which a very small quantity may be measured 
to, — the improvement of the exactness of observations has 
always been the great cynosure of practical astronomers. 
But much more is it the case now, as in addition to such 
motives, there is the further one, that so many observations 
of long discovered bodies having been already accumulated 
in the world, there is little advantage to be obtained by re- 
observing those same objects again, unless it can be done 
better than on former occasions. Accuracy, therefore, still 
accuracy, and accuracy above all things, must be the ruling 
idea of modern practical astronomy. 

" This being confessed, it will be found that the greatest 
impediment to the desired accuracy is the atmosphere ; an 
ever present obstacle, and producing, with well-made modern 
instruments, far more untoward effects than all other sources 
of error whatever. Putting out of the question actual clouds 
preventing any view of the sky, and even not stopping to 
consider the effect of the diffusion of general day-light, 
though that is a consequence of the atmosphere, and very 
prejudicial, too, in eclipsing the fainter objects in the sky, — 
yet if we only take account of the smaller undulations shewn 
by the telescope to exist in the medium, when apparently 
to the naked eye it is very clear and tranquil, — we yet find 
them there so excessive and so lawless, that seldom or 
never can the highest, or even anything like the highest, 
magnifying power be applied, which the object-glass is ac- 
tually provided with, and would otherwise bear with advan- 
tage. Thus, telescopes may be increased in size and accuracy, 
but, when under such drawbacks, without any benefit result- 
ing therefrom ; while the bad effects of the atmosphere are 
even more hopelessly obstructive in a large than a small 

" The atmosphere, then, being so determined an opponent, 
every effort should be made to eliminate its effects as far as 
possible ; and this can only be accomplished by rising above 
its grosser parts, as when placing the telescope on a high 
mountain. Such was Newton's recommendation more than 
a century ago, when trying the first little reflecting telescope 
that had ever been made. And yet, though he recommended 

The Royal Observatory of Scotland 53 

it, though his recommendation has been long before the world, 
though telescopes have been since so greatly augmented in 
number and in size, though the atmosphere forms an in- 
creasingly larger per-centage of loss upon every successive 
instrument, and though so many Observatories have been 
built expressly for the purpose of procuring the most accu- 
rate observations ; yet, not a single one has been built in the 
place best calculated, according to Nature and Newton, for 
procuring in the most perfect manner the ends for which it 
was really established. For witness that our Observatories, 
instead of being built on the highest mountains in the clear- 
est climates, have always been erected at the bottoms of the 
lowest valleys, hardly elevated in any sensible, certainly not 
in any useful degree, above the level of the sea ; and that, 
worse still, they are generally immersed in the smoke of our 
largest towns. 

" In justice it must be allowed that many other duties have 
often been demanded of Observatories, besides making ob- 
servations, — duties, too, that compelled their proximity to the 
haunts of men ; but even allowing for such compulsion in 
many cases, it is strange that men have been content, in 
every instance, to work under this excessive disadvantage, 
and these ungrateful difficulties. So much the more fortu- 
nate, however, for the Edinburgh Observatory, if the means 
should at last be afforded for its occupying the vacant but 
promising field for the promotion of Astronomy. Not but 
what this Institution has more than sufficient of secular 
business and social duties to keep it close to the city ; and 
I am far from recommending the removal of this Observa- 
tory, or the establishment of any new one, permanently, on 
a high mountain : the expense of building in such a situation, 
for a constant residence, would be very large, on account of 
the strength necessary to withstand the severities of winter ; 
while there would be great difficulty in carrying on the 
printing, &c. of the observations. 

" What I propose is, merely to establish a temporary ob- 
serving station for the summer months ; as in this way the 
greater part of the good harvest which a mountain is capable 
of affording, would be reaped at the least possible outlay : for 

54 The Royal Observatory of Scotland. 

nearly the whole of the fine weather period of the station 
might thus be utilised in procuring measures ; which in the 
autumn would be brought home, computed, and printed, with 
all the resources of a civilised country. 

" This notable advantage, too, would be gained, without the 
loss of anything important that could have been secured by 
remaining in Edinburgh, or rather it would be the means of 
avoiding a positive loss. For when the College Session closes 
in April, and the Astronomer has more time to attend to his 
duties at the Observatory ; exactly then, unhappily, not only 
does the summer in Scotland prove itself more cloudy than 
the winter ; but even in clear weather, the nights, owing to 
the prolonged twilight of a high northern latitude, continue 
for some months so bright, that little can be done or even 
attempted, especially with that smaller class of objects, and 
that more exact observation, in which, as detailed last year, 
the Director considered himself peculiarly called upon to en- 
gage with the Equatorial. Just, then, at that season of the 
year in which the Edinburgh Astronomer has most time at 
his disposal, clouds and twilight combine to prevent his mak- 
ing good use of it. 

m Were he, however, enabled to convey the equatorial alone, 
by a quick journey to a high southern mountain, merely tak- 
ing with him, be it remembered, his Edinburgh work, neither 
less nor more, to be executed with greater efficiency, he 
might reach a country of clearer skies, and darker nights, 
and be raised high above most of the disturbing influences of 
the atmosphere. He would, in fact, be able in three months 
to make more observations there, and each of them of sur- 
passing excellence, than in a whole year in Edinburgh. Nor 
does this result depend solely on the theoretical ideas of 
Newton, for I myself have had unusual opportunity of ob- 
serving, during some years, on mountains of various heights 
up to 6700 feet, in a southern country. From which expe- 
rience, too, I feel justified in concluding, that there would 
be no difficulty in selecting a station, which should be free, 
for a given period of the year, from the usual mountain 
clouds ; and that the degree of increase in the visibility and 
" steadiness" of the images of the stars in the telescope 

The Royal Observatory of Scotland. 55 

would be so great, as to leave far behind all attempts to 
observe the same objects on the surface of the earth with 
instruments of equal calibre. 

" To give a first idea of the practical details, I may mention 
that the mountain which I propose is the Peak of Teneriffe ; 
of all high mountains the most quickly accessible from 
England, the most easily climbed, and having the very con- 
siderable elevation of 12,500 feet. Its whole distance from 
England lies almost due south, most effective therefore for 
taking one, during the summer, into the darkness of tro- 
pical nights ; and for raising the zodiacal region of the sky, 
always so low at home, high towards the zenith. It is more- 
over in the direct line of the Cape steamers, hardly more 
than a week's voyage; and from the landing-place in the 
harbour, there is one continued slope to the top of the moun- 
tain ; instead of the usual long winding and undulating 
ascents and descents which must generally be overcome, be- 
fore any very lofty station can be gained in most other parts 
of the world. Abundance of labourers and mules appear to be 
procurable ; a sufficiently large plateau for the necessary 
erections exists at the height of 12,000 feet, and is stated to 
be clear of cloud throughout the summer ; while, if one ob- 
servation of Humboldt's can be depended on, the air is there 
more transparent than at the same height on either the 
Alps or the Andes. Moreover, as to the instrument itself, I 
have devised a new construction of the equatorial stand 
which will allow of its being taken to pieces, and transported 
with great facility : and all the observations, when made, 
being brought home each autumn, the computation and the 
printing thereof would be managed without difficulty, as a 
part of the usual Observatory volume, the permanent astro- 
nomical value of which would be thereby very greatly in- 


Facts respecting the Laws which regulate the Distribution of 
Rivers, and the Principal Watersheds of the Earth. By 
William Rhind, Esq. * 

In the investigation of the hydrology of the globe, we shall 
find that there are certain limits of latitude within which the 
great majority of rivers have their origin. Thus all the rivers 
of the first magnitude have their sources within the tropical 
or sub-tropical zones. The greater proportion rise within 
the fortieth or fiftieth parallel of latitude ; and no river, of 
even fourth or fifth rate magnitude, derives its origin beyond 
the sixtieth degree of latitude. 

The following table of the principal rivers of the globe, 
with the latitudes in which their extreme sources originate, 
will serve to illustrate this fact : — 

Rivers of Asia flowing North and North-West. 

Obi, rises in lat. 48° N., flows into Arctic Ocean in lat. 65° N. 
Yenesei, rises in lat. 50° N., flows into Arctic Ocean in lat, 71° N. 
Lena, rises about 50° 2$., flows into Arctic Ocean in lat. 73° N. 
Amour or Sagalien, rises in lat. 48° N., flows into Sangalin Gulf in lat. 

53° ls T . 
Jaxartes, i rise in Pamir, lat. 36° N., elevation 15,000 feet, flow into Arabian 
Oxus, J Sea. 

Rivers of Asia flowing South and South-East. 

Indus, rises in Kailas, M. Himalaya, lat. 31° 30' N., elevation 18,000 feet, 

flows into Indian Ocean, lat. 24° N. 
Ganges, rises in Himalaya, lat. 31° N., elevation 13,000 feet, flows into Bay 

of Bengal. 
Brahmapootra, rises in Tibetan Mountains, about lat. 30° 3" N., flows into 

Bay of Bengal. 
Irrawadi, rises in East Tibet, about lat. 28° N., flows into Bay of Bengal. 

Hoang-Ho, 1 

, r „, „ I/T1 ,.„ } rise in East Tibet, flow into Yellow Sea. 

\ang-tse Kiang, J ' 

Hong Kiang, rises in South China, flows into China Sea. 

Menam Kong, rises in Tibet, about lat. 33° N., flows into Gulf of Siam. 

Godavery, I 

Kishna I r * se * n w " est Ghauts, Hindostan, about lat. 20 N. 

Euphrates, rises in Armenia, lat. 40° N. } flows into Persian Gulf. 

Read before the Royal Physical Society, Edinburgh, March 1853. 

Distribution of Rivers. 57 

Rivers of Europe flowing North and North-West. 

Petchora, rises in Ural Mountains, lat. 61° 30' N., flows into Arctic Ocean. 

Dvina, rises in lat. 59° N., flows into White Sea. 

Vistula, rises in lat. 49° N., flows into Gulf of Dantzic. 

Elbe, rises in the Riesengebirge, Bohemia, lat. 50° N., elevation 4500 feet, 

flows into German Ocean. 
Rhine, rises in Rhinewald, lat. 46° 33' N., elevation 7650 feet, flows into North 

Loire, rises in lat. 45° N., elevation 3940 feet, flows into Bay of Biscay. 
Garonne, rises in Pyrenees, lat. 43° N., flows into Bay of Biscay. 

Rivers of Europe flowing South-East. 

Volga, rises in Tver, Russia, lat. 57° N., elevation 550 feet, flows into Caspian 

Ural, rises in Ural Mountains, lat. 54° N., flows into Caspian Sea. 
Don, rises in lat. 54° N., flows into Sea of Azov. 
Dnieper, rises in lat. 54° N., flows into Black Sea. 

Dniester, rises in Carpathian Mountains, lat. 49° N., flows into Black Sea. 
Danube, rises in Berge Mountains, lat. 47° N., elevation 2850 feet, flows into 

Black Sea. 
Po, rises in North Italy, lat. 44° 38" N., flows into Adriatic. 
Rhone, rises in Mount St Gothard, lat. 46° N., flows into Gulf of Lyons. 

Rivers of Africa. 

Nile, rises in Central Arica, from lat. 2° to 11° N., flows into Mediterranean. 

Senegal, rises ahout lat. 10° 30' N., flows into the Atlantic. 

Niger, rises about lat. 9° 25' N., elevation 1600 feet, flows into Gulf of 

Orange, rises in South-east Africa, lat. 26° S., flows into South Atlantic. 
Zambeze, rises ahout lat. 17° S., flows into Indian Ocean. 

Rivers of America flowing North. 

Mackenzie, rises in lat. 48° to 62° N., flows into Arctic Sea. 

Churchill, rises ahout lat. 55° N., flows into Hudson Bay. 

Saskatchevan, ^ 

„ I rise in Rocky Mountains, lat. 48° to 53 , flow into Hud- 

. J son Bay. 

Albany, j 

St Lawrence, rises from several Lakes, lat. 42° to 48°, flows into Gulf of St 


Rivers of America flowing South and South-East. 

Columbia, or Oregon, rises in Rocky Mountains, lat. 54° N., flows into North 

; Colorado, rises in lat. 40°, flows into Gulf of California. 
Mississippi, rises in lat. 47° N. (Missouri in lat. 42° and 48° N.), elevation 1500 

feet, flows into Gulf of Mexico, lat. 29° N. 

58 On the Laws ivkich regulate the 

Rio Bravo del Norte, rises about lat. 38° N., flows into Gulf of Mexico. 
Orinoco, rises in lat. 2° to 10° N., flows into North Atlantic. 
Amazon, rises in Peruvian Andes and Parime mountains, from lat. 4° N. to lat 
20° S., flows into Atlantic at the equator. 


Paranahyba, I rise in Brazilian mountains, flow into South Atlantic. 

San Francisco,/ 

La Plata, rises in Chilian Andes and north-east mountains of Brazil, lat. 13° 

to 15° S. 

Mendoza, \ .„..,. 

w „ rur~„ t „„« f rise in Chilian Andes, flow into South Atlantic. 

Negro or Cusu Lebu, J 

From this table it will be apparent that the great rivers of 
Central Asia, the Ganges, the Brahmapootra, the Hoang-Ho, 
have their origins about the parallel of thirty-one north ; 
while the large rivers of Northern Asia, the Obi, Yenesei 
and Lena have their sources about the forty-eight and fiftieth 
degrees of latitude. The great rivers of South America — 
the Amazon, the Orinoco, and La Plata — rise within the tro- 
pics ; and there is no river of any consequence in the south- 
ern hemisphere which derives its origin beyond latitude 40° 

In North America, the Mississippi rises in latitude 47°, the 
Missouri in 42° north, while their numerous tributaries have 
their origin and courses in much lower latitudes. This is the 
case, too, with the principal rivers of Europe. The extreme 
northerly sources of the Volga, Ural, Don, and Dnieper, lie 
between the parallels of fifty-seven and fifty-four ; but they 
are fed chiefly by tributaries which traverse the parallels of 
forty and forty-five degrees. The Danube, the Rhone, and 
the Rhine, have their origins in lat. 46° to 47° north. 

The primary cause of this arrangement of river sources 
seems to be very obvious, and evidently has a relation to the 
regions of the greatest and most constant deposition of mois- 
ture on the earth's surface. Thus the greatest amount of 
annual precipitation occurs within the tropical and sub-tro- 
pical regions, while the fall of rain decreases in a rapid ratio 
towards the frigid zones. While 100 to 300 inches of rain 
fall annually in the tropics, from 30 to 25 inches is the 
average of the temperate zones, and from 16 to 10 inches of 
the sub-frigid and frigid zones. 

Distribution of Rivers. 59 

This law of the deposition of moisture, then, necessarily 
regulates the existence of rivers, so that as a general rule 
the number and size of these decrease from the equator to 
the poles. 

Where local circumstances tend to increase or diminish 
the fall of rain, we there find a corresponding effect produced 
on the rivers. Thus the Torneo, a considerable stream in 
North Lapland, though ranking but as a fifth or sixth rate 
river, derives its origin in a very high latitude, about the 
parallel of 69° north, and is perhaps the largest stream on 
the earth's surface, to be found within this range of latitude. 
It owes its origin to the unusual quantity of rain which falls 
along the range of the Scandinavian Alps, and this unusual 
deposition of moisture appears to be due to the influence of 
the warm Gulf Stream which flows northwards along the 
western base of the Norwegian mountains ; the annual fall 
of rain here being on an average 82 inches. 

But besides this primary cause, which naturally arises from 
the thermal condition of the earth's surface, there are secon- 
dary and concurrent arrangements which mainly regulate 
the existing distribution and diffusion of rivers, and these 
arrangements will be found in the position of the principal 

In the continents of Asia and Europe there are two great 
leading watersheds, — one, which may be called the northern, 
extends from east to west in about the parallel of 50° to 55°. 
In Asia, it consists of the high table-lands formed by the 
Aldan, Altai, and Ural ranges of mountains. All the rivers 
which flow north into the Arctic Ocean have their origins in 
this great table land, as the Obi, Yenesei, Lena, Amoor, and 
I others. A marked peculiarity in these rivers is, that their 
tributaries take their rise in much the same parallel of lati- 
i tude as the originals ; and that, as they flow northward 
I through a comparatively rainless district, they are joined by 
no affluents of any importance or permanency. This is very 
different from the tropical rivers, — the Amazon, the Missis- 
sippi, — and even the Danube, in a sub-tropical locality, which 
continue to be supplied by ample tributaries onward to their 

60 On the Laws which Regulate the 

mouths. The different aspects of these rivers may be com- 
pared on the map. The rivers of North Asia look like cer- 
tain trees, such as palms, with a long single stem, and a 
few fronds at the top, from whence they derive nourishment 
from the air ; the Amazon or the Danube resembles those 
mighty trees of the forest that send out boughs from every 
part of the trunk, the more completely to nourish their stately 

After passing the Ural Mountains, the watershed of North- 
ern Europe becomes very low. It is nothing more than a 
dome-shaped elevation of the great northern plain of Russia, 
with a height of 550 feet ; but towards the centre of Europe 
it curves more southward, and rises into the mountain ridges 
of the Carpathians and Alps, and finally terminates in the 
Pyrenees and the table-land of Spain. The rivers of Europe 
are by this means separated into two great divisions, — those 
that flow north into the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, and 
those which discharge their waters into the Mediterranean, 
the Black Sea, and the Caspian. Into the vast hollow basin 
of Central Asia other rivers from the eastern slopes also empty 
their waters, as the Oxus, Jaxartes, Helmund. 

The great southern watershed is formed by the Kouen- 
lun range, forming the north boundary of Tibet and the 
Himalaya, Hindoo Koosh, and Taurus and Iranian chains, 
which stretch in a direction from east to west, between 
the parallels of 30° and 40° north. The Euphrates, Indus, 
Ganges, Brahmapootra, and Chinese rivers, flow south and 
south-east from this, the most elevated watershed of the 
globe. The elevated range of the Himalaya intercepts the 
south-west and south-east winds blowing from the Indian 
Ocean, and loaded with its moisture ; and this moisture is de- 
posited at the different seasons of the year, partly in copious 
rain, and partly in snow, which latter accumulating in nu- 
merous glaciers, affords the summer supply of the great rivers 
which have their sources in these elevated regions. So ex- 
tensive and almost complete is this interception of the mois- 
ture coming from the south, that, on the table-lands of Tibet 
to the north, rain is almost unknown, and snow is only 

Distribution of Rivers. 61 

sparingly deposited at elevations of 16,000 and 18,000 

In North America we find the great northern watershed 
of the old world extending to the new in about the same 
parallel of 50°. The elevation of the eastern part of this 
watershed is only about 600 feet, but it rises on the west 
into the range of the Rocky Mountains. To the north and 
west of this watershed lie the numerous lakes and rivers of 
New Britain, or Hudson Bay territory, the surplus waters of 
which are carried chiefly by the Mackenzie and the Churchill 
rivers into the Arctic Ocean ; while on the east, the St Law- 
rence carries off the surplus of the five large Canadian lakes. 
On the south slope of this watershed the Mississippi rises, 
as well as some of its tributaries, and so low is the elevation, 
and so contiguous are the sources of the southern and north- 
ern systems of those rivers, that in great floods, from exces- 
sive rains, the waters of both divisions intermingle. The 
great watershed of South America, the Andes, assumes 
a south and north direction, in conformity with the general 
bearing of the continent. And here, too, there may be ob- 
served a singular propriety in the arrangement of the surface 
in relation to the deposition of moisture. The lofty ridges 
of the Andes run across the western edge of the continent, 
and thus form a screen by which the moisture of the south- 
east and north-east trade winds, blowing over the surface of 
the Atlantic, is completely condensed, and which, flowing 
down their eastern slopes, waters the wide and extensive 
plains, and again returns the surplus into the ocean source 
from which it was originally derived. The tropical region to 
the west of these high mountains is almost destitute of mois- 
ture and of rivers. 

We are as yet but imperfectly acquainted with the structure 
of Africa, yet the Nile evidently derives its principal source 
from some elevated and snow-clad mountains near the equa- 
tor, and then flowing northward, refreshes the arid deserts of 
the centre and north with its cooling waters. Like the rivers 
of North Asia, the Nile carries almost its whole supplies 
from its two original sources, for it is joined by only one tri- 

* Dr Thomson's Western Himalaya. 

62 On the Laius which regulate the 

butary, the Atbera, in its long course of about 2000 miles 
over a dry and rainless desert. The other known rivers of 
Africa, the Niger, the Senegal, the Gariep, and the Zambeze, 
all rise within the limits of the tropical and sub-tropical zones. 
We may suppose that the great watershed of Africa exists 
near the centre, and extends from west to east. The most re- 
cent discoveries on this continent indicate high mountains near 
the equator ; and north and south of these are lakes and rivers, 
in all likelihood derived from those snow-peaked summits. 

The Hydrology of Australia presents anomalies apparently 
more connected with the formation of the land- surface than 
the condition of the atmosphere. The absence of mountain 
ranges, especially in the northern half, prevents the forma- 
tion of rivers, by being unfavourable to the condensation of 
atmospheric moisture, while the evaporation from the low, 
level, and arid surface of the interior carries off all the rain 
that falls, so that the only river system of the country is in 
the mountain range of the south-east shores. 

It would appear that, in the lower or tropical and sub-tro- 
pical latitudes, the presence of snow-capped mountains is es- 
sential to the full and permanent supply of rivers ; and it is 
thus that the Andes and Rocky Mountains in America, the 
Tibetan and Himalaya ranges in Asia, the Alps and their 
connected ranges in Europe, the Pyrenees and other peaked 
summits of the Iberian Peninsula, and the Urals, intermediate 
between Europe and Asia, — which latter contribute largely to 
the Volga and other streams of the great central basin — 
constitute the main centres of supply for the principal rivers 
of the world. 

We accordingly lind that the most celebrated mountain 
peaks, as well as the greatest amount of elevated land on the 
earth's surface, lie within 40° degrees of the equator, both 
on the north and south. The highest summits within this 
range of latitude are from 25,000 to 28,000 feet. A few peaks 
beyond the latitude of 40° attain elevations of 10,000 to 17,000 
feet ; but the general tendency of the mountain ranges and 
table-lands is to decline towards the poles; and the vast 
Russian plains in the northern hemisphere, and those of the 
Pampas and of Patagonia in the southern, are evidences of 

Distribution of Rivers. 63 

the very low elevation of the general surface. Within the 
Arctic regions there is no mountain range exceeding 5000 feet 
in elevation, while the general surface is only a few hundred 
feet above the sea level. In the Antarctic lands, volcanic 
cones, apparently isolated, attain an elevation of 12,000 feet. 
That there exists, therefore, a designed harmony of ar- 
rangement between the zone of the greatest and most perma- 
nent deposition of moisture, and the distribution of water- 
sheds, which regulate the river courses, we think may be 
rendered forcibly evident by supposing, for a moment, a 
reverse arrangement to have existed. Suppose that the most 
elevated parts of the earth had been towards the Arctic and 
Antarctic circles, instead of being in the tropical and sub- 
tropical zones, as they now are, we then would have had 
probably the same, or nearly the same, deposition of mois- 
ture, but it would have accumulated in the equatorial regions, 
and formed immense morasses or numerous lakes. Suppose, 
for instance, that the north watershed of Asia had been 
placed in latitude 70° instead of 50° north; then we should 
have had no rivers throughout all that vast region, the cold 
of Siberia would have been doubled, and animal or vegetable 
existence would have been barely possible. The same deso- 
lation would have followed in the north of Europe had the 
watershed been moved 20° degrees farther north. That the 
greatest deposition of rain should take place within a limited 
range of the equator seems a necessary consequence of the 
other thermal arrangements of the globe ; but by the existing 
arrangements of the elevations and slopes on the earth's 
surface, this moisture is by means of rivers diffused on all 
sides to the utmost points of the habitable land. Are we not 
then, on the whole, entitled to conclude, that however irre- 
gular and unsystematic may appear the distribution of the 
mountain ranges on the globe, the same adjustment of means 
to ends is as manifest in them as in the more minute and 
elaborate, though not more important, structures of organ- 
ised beings ? 

There are some other circumstances in the distribution Ox 
rivers which may be cursorily glanced at. With the excep- 
tion of those rivers on the north side of the great northern 

64 On the Laws which regulate the 

watershed, a large majority of the rivers of the earth flow in 
a south or south-easterly direction. This is the case with 
the Danube. Volga, Euphrates, Indus, Ganges, of the old 
world, and all the great rivers of America south of lat. 50° N. 
The Nile in Africa is almost the only exception. This evi- 
dently arises from the continents being more elevated to the 
north and west, and sloping gradually south and south-east. 
This arrangement of continents seems also to extend to the 
majority of islands. It is the case in Scotland and England, 
and many other islands. By attending to the river-courses 
on a well-constructed map, we may thus obtain a pretty ac- 
curate idea of the elevations and depressions of the surface, 
as well as the general declination of the land. By tracing 
the intricate windings of rivers in this way, we shall also be 
able to mark where the great obstructions and obstacles to 
their direct courses lie, and how ingeniously, if we may so 
express it, their currents — impelled by the law common to 
all fluids — seek incessantly the lowest surface of the earth ; 
yet, knowing well their own limited powers of force and 
pressure, they wisely seek, by a yielding circuitous path, 
what they could not gain by main force. 

Another circumstance may be alluded to, which bears 
somewhat on a geological subject. In several of the larger 
rivers of the globe, their tributaries have origins many hun- 
dred miles apart ; whereas other rivers, which rise within a 
very short distance of each other, empty their waters into 
seas very far asunder. Some of the chief feeders of the 
Amazon and of the La Plata take their rise in the same 
mountain declivities, yet the mouth of the Amazon is 2000 
miles distant from that of the Plata. Three of the large 
rivers of Europe — the Rhine, the Rhone, and the Danube — 
have their origin in contiguous mountains, but they all as- 
sume opposite directions in their future courses. The feeders 
of the Mackenzie river and the Mississippi rise within a few 
miles of each other, but the Mackenzie empties its waters 
into the Arctic Ocean, some 2000 miles distant from the 
mouth of the Mississippi in the Gulf of Mexico. The conti- 
guous origins of the Clyde and Tweed, while the one flows 
west and the other east, is another familiar example. 

Distribution of Rivers. 65 

An observant traveller in North America, Featherston^- 
haugh,* when tracing the country along the banks uf the 
Arkansas river, came to a deep and lonely gorge where the 
main stream of that river had once flowed. In the alluvium 
there he remarked alternate layers of a red ferruginous 
clay, and of a whitish sand, frequently repeated. His pre- 
vious experience of the tributaries of this river enabled him 
thus to account satisfactorily for this appearance. He says, 
" What exceedingly interested me here were the curious 
party-coloured deposits of clay and sand which had been left 
by the various inundations of the river that had taken place 
since this channel was abandoned. These inundations could 
almost be enumerated by the thin strata they had produced. 
There was a layer of red clay, then one of white sand, then 
again a mixture of both, and occasionally large blotches or 
masses of whitish clay, enclosed in a regular deposit of red ar- 
gillaceous earth. The last deposit consisted of about an inch 
of dull red argillaceous matter, most probably brought from 
the country where the river Canadian flows. Appearances of 
this kind are often met with in indurated rocks, where they 
can only be accounted for conjecturally. This alluvial depo- 
sit is, however, undoubtedly owing to the extraordinary cha- 
racter of the river Arkansas, a mighty flood, which, deriving 
its most remote sources from the melted snows of peaks of 
the Rocky Mountains, from 10,000 to 15,000 feet high, and 
holding its course among the mountain chains for at least 
200 miles, pursues its way nearly 2000 miles before it joins 
the Mississippi. But the sources of this stream are nume- 
rous, and some of them are six or seven hundred miles apart 
from west to east. The southernmost sources flow through an 
ancient deposit of red argillaceous matter for several hundred 
miles, which gives the red muddy character to the Canadian 
and its branches. The western and northern sources bring 
down mineral matter of various kinds and colours ; but, to 
the. east, some of the branches take their rise in the petro- 
silicious country through which I had lately passed, and the 
white arenaceous deposits are sufficiently indicative of their 
eastern origin. The branches thus referred to being of un- 

* Excursions through the Slave States of America. 
VOL. LV. NO. CIX.— JULY 1858. 

66 Dr A. Thomson on the 

equal length, and separated by great geographical distances, 
and the melting of the snow and the rainy seasons being go- 
verned by differences in their latitude and elevation, they are 
consequently subject to overflow at different periods." 

Something of the same has been observed by other travel- 
lers on the lower banks of the Amazon, where there is a 
greater distance between the tributaries, and greater varie- 
ties in the periods of flood of the various affluents, — a layer 
of deep tenacious clay, alternating with various coloured sands 
and gravels, being here a common occurrence. 

This may so far tend to explain appearances in the dilu- 
vium of our own neighbourhood, around Edinburgh, where al- 
ternations of clay, sand, and gravel, are by no means uncom- 
mon. A good example of this we have at the clay deposit of 
Portobello, especially in the section on the north or left hand 
of the road, and which is now being wrought as a brick-work. 
There may be seen a series of layers of silicious sand, of 
about six inches in depth, alternating at regular intervals 
with a depth of one to two feet of stiff tenacious clay. The 
only fossil I have ever been able to detect in this clay was a 
specimen which I now exhibit, and which appears to be a 
cyclas. Three casts of the same species of shell were also 
found, but no traces of the fragile shells remained. This 
shell was found in the bed to the right of the road, and in a 
solid mass of clay, about six feet from the surface. 

On the Discovery of a Frog in New Zealand. By Arthur 
Saunders Thomson, M.D., Surgeon 58th Regiment. 
Communicated by the Author for the Edinburgh New Phi- 
losophical Journal. 

In the Fauna of New Zealand, compiled by J. E. Gray, 
Esq., of the British Museum, and appended to Dieffenbach's 
Travels in New Zealand, published in 1842, it is stated, on 
the authority of Mr Polack, that " toads and frogs are not 
uncommon, especially near the mountain districts, but he be- 
lieves they do not differ from the species in Europe." With 
this remark before his eyes Dieffenbach states, " they have 

Discovery of a Frog in New Zealand. 67 

never been seen by me," and he doubts their existence in 
New Zealand. The Rev. Mr Taylor, who has been long re- 
sident as a missionary in the country, in his " Leaf from the 
Natural History of New Zealand," (1848), makes no men- 
tion of frogs. Dr Sinclair, Colonial Secretary, who has con- 
tributed so much to the Fauna of New Zealand, informs me 
that he never saw or heard of a frog in the country. I have 
asked missionaries who have been upwards of twenty years 
in different parts of the island, and natives who have re- 
sided all their life in the country, and all of them declare 
that they never either saw a frog or heard the croak of one, 
and from these circumstances I, with many others, believed 
that frogs did not exist in New Zealand. 

In October ]852, indications of gold were found in the 
hills around the harbour of Coromandel, in the Gulf of Hou- 
raki or Frith of Thames. In November, I visited the dig- 
gings and procured the frog which is herewith sent.* It 
was got in this way. The gold-diggers were washing the 
soil of a mountain-stream in the machine called " Long 
Tom." In excavating the banks they displaced several large 
boulders of quartz rock, underneath which was discovered 
the living frog. The gold-diggers, who voluntarily submit 
to the evils and miseries of such a gambling trade, and can 
rarely be excited by any thing unless a " great nugget," 
were so much astonished at the sight of a frog, that one of 
them desisted from the seductive occupation he was at, and 
took the frog, and put it into a bottle of water. As the bot- 
tle was tightly corked, the animal soon died, but so anxious 
were the diggers to preserve it, that they stuck the dead 
frog on the trunk of a kauri pine to dry, and when they saw 
me they gave me the animal. I took it to the place where 
Lieutenant-Governor Wynyard was holding a conference 
with the tribes for the purpose of making a treaty to enable 
Europeans to dig the gold. The frog was shewn to many of 
the natives, and was carefully examined by several intelligent 
old men, one of whom was Taniwha, a celebrated chief, who 

* This specimen is now in the possession of James Thomson, Esq., of Glen- 
do man. 

E 2 

68 Discovery of a Frog in New Zealand. 

recollects the last visit Captain Cook paid to this country. 
None of these individuals had ever seen the animal before, 
nor could they give any name to it. All the New Zea- 
landers present were much struck with its appearance, and 
they said it must be the Atua, the spirit or god of the gold, 
which had appeared upon the earth ; many of them shrunk 
back from it in horror, and some of them were inclined to 
draw unfavourable omens from its discovery at such a parti- 
cular time. At Auckland I met natives from all parts of the 
island to whom I shewed the frog, but none of them had ever 
seen it before. Three other frogs were caught by the gold- 
diggers in a different stream from the one in which the spe- 
cimen was found, — one of these was lost, and the natives in- 
sisted that the other two should be set at liberty, lest evil 
should come on the party who caught them. The country 
where the frogs were found is made up of plutonic and me- 
tamorphic rocks, which rise in some places to the height of 
nearly 1500 feet. It forms a peninsula from Cape Colville 
to the mouth of the Thames. The rivulets in which the 
frogs were found run down the western side of the range 
into the harbour of Coromandel. The hills are thickly co- 
vered with fine timber, and the streams beautifully shaded 
from the heat of the sun. 

Description of the Frog, as taken from the specimen disco- 
vered. — Length of body one inch ; head more round and less 
pointed than that of the Rana Palustris of Europe ; mouth 
large, with teeth in the upper jaw ; skin smooth and shining, 
with several small rounded tubercles or papillae on the sides ; 
posterior extremities long and muscular, with five toes pal- 
mated, and partially webbed ; anterior extremities short, with 
four toes ; eyes prominent, colour olive-brown, a white spot 
between them ; the colour of grayish-white, back brown, the 
belly of a lighter brown, which extends round and forms a 
border on either side of the brown on the back. The extre- 
mities are marked across with lines of brown and greyish- 
white alternately. 

Remarks. — Bory St Vincent states,* that frogs and toads 

* Voyages aux Quatri lies d'Afrique. 

Prof. E. Forbes on the Mollusca of the British Seas. 69 

are not found in any of the volcanic islands of the great 
oceans. But this idea is not now correct as regards the 
north island of New Zealand ; though the statement is still 
apparently correct as regards the other islands in the Pacific 
Ocean. In the Sandwich group of islands there are neither 
frogs nor toads.* In the Galapagos Archipelagot there are 
no frogs or toads, and I have examined men who have lived 
at Tahiti, the Navigator's Group, the Friendly Islands, Chat- 
ham Island, Norfolk Island, and many of the other islands 
in the great ocean which surround New Zealand ; and they 
all agree that no frogs have ever been found in any of these 
islands. Perhaps, however, more careful inquiries may de- 
tect frogs in the hilly rivulets of these countries, as they have 
been discovered in New Zealand. 

When the character of the now almost extinct native rat 
in New Zealand became known, it furnished a link in the 
chain of evidence regarding the countries from whence the 
New Zealand race originally came ; and the discovery of the 
frog may throw a ray of light on some obscure geological 
questions in New Zealand. 

Arthur S. Thomson. 

Auckland, New Zealand, 
29th November 1852. 

Professor Edward Forbes on the Mollusca of the British 


The mollusca of the British seas are numerous and abun- 
dant. The varied conformation of the coasts of Great Britain 
and Ireland, and of the sea-bed surrounding these islands, 
is peculiarly favourable for the nourishment of a multiplicity 
of kinds of these animals. The climatal conditions of our 
area are such as to encourage the presence and perpetua- 
tion of both northern and southern temperate types, and the 
influence of very different ancient conditions is manifested 
by the presence among them of not a few shell-fish of boreal 

* History of the Hawaiian Islands, by James Jackson. Jerves, London, 1843. 
| Darwin's Voyages; 

70 Prof. E. Forbes on the Mollusca of the British Seas. 

or arctic origin. Our mollusca are, when taken collectively 
not remarkable for brilliancy of painting, magnitude of di- 
mensions, or singularity of contour ; although, in all these 
respects, we can boast of striking exceptions, and among our 
minute species can shew many of exquisite elegance and 
curious sculpture. By far the larger part of our marine 
mollusks are tiny species. Our nudibranches are, however, 
distinguished for the beauty of their colouring, and even 
among the despised ascidians there are some whose coats 
are tinged with the brightest or else the most delicate hues. 
The cuttle-fishes that live around us, are too excursive and 
oceanic in their habits to be claimed as exclusively, or even 
chiefly, our own. Those that frequent our sea bed, are mostly 
animals of considerable size for mollusca, and certainly 
among the most astonishing and beautiful of the inhabitants 
of the sea. They are, however, seldom seen by the casual 
observer, whose knowledge of our molluscan treasures is 
mainly derived from sorry specimens of shells cast upon the 
sea-beach by the waves. 

The land-shells of the British Islands are still less striking 
than the testacea of the surrounding seas. Their hues are 
dull when compared with those of more southern countries, 
and their shapes but seldom attractive for eccentricity of 
outline or ornament. They exhibit but few peculiarities, 
and reckon among their number but few rarities. This is 
not the case with our marine species, among which are nu- 
merous sorts that have either not been noticed elsewhere, or 
are rarely to be met with, and which, even when of pigmy 
dimensions, are among the most prized gems of a good con- 
ch ological cabinet. In the grand system of nature, size is 
of small account, and elephants and mites, however different 
in bigness, reckon of equal value as links in the chain of or- 
ganisation. God's works are never left unfinished. None is 
too minute for the display of infinite perfection. The micro- 
scope has exhibited to our wondering eyes beauties of struc- 
ture that have been concealed from mortal sight for long 
ages. It would almost seem as if only glimpses of those ex- 
cellencies of creation are permitted to man to behold, whilst 

Prof. E. Forbes on the Mollusca of the British Seas. 71 

the full contemplation of such wondrous charms is reserved 
for immortal and invisible admirers. 

Although, in consequence of the great number of mollusks 
that are common to all parts of the British seas, provided we 
compare localities where conditions of sea-bottom and depth 
are similar, it might seem that there is little evidence of 
a peculiar distribution within the limits of our area, if we 
regard its shell-fish either in mass, or analyse the relations 
of the several species to foreign and surrounding regions, 
we shall find very distinct manifestations of peculiarities 
within the boundaries of our own. Were a conchologist de- 
sirous of accumulating personally and rapidly a complete 
collection of British shells, he would fail in his object if he 
confined his researches to any one locality, even though it 
embraced a considerable reach of coast and variety of sea- 
bottom. Four districts, at least, would have to be visited. 
To the Channel Islands he would have to go for several forms 
that are almost extra British. On the south-west coasts 
of England he would find a few shells that he would seek 
for in vain in more northern or eastern seas. Only on the 
west coasts of Scotland, many species of great interest and 
peculiarity could be readily obtained. In the extreme pro- 
vince of the Zetland Isles he would gather some of our most 
remarkable rarities ; and possibly, after all, he would have 
to visit as much of the northern half of the German Ocean 
as may be claimed for our natural history province, and the 
west coasts of Ireland, before his cabinets could be fairly 

In reality, our molluscan fauna is a composite assemblage, 
in which immigrants from the north and from the south inter- 
mingle with the aboriginal inhabitants, and descendants of a 
pre-adamite fauna survive amongst them. Those forms that 
have travelled northwards, and those that have journeyed 
southwards, have not all made their way with equal speed. 
Consequently, as we proceed either way, we find a number of 
species gradually disappear, and differences instituted, both 
positive by the presence of peculiar types, and negative by 
the absence of others, that serve to mark a sub-division of 

72 Account of the Fish River Bush, South Africa. 

provinces within our area. Even among many of the species 
that are widely and almost universally spread throughout our 
seas, we find the frequency of their occurrence diminishing 
oneway or other according to their origin. As a general 
rule, the northern influence prevails over the southern in the 
British fauna, and gives greater peculiarities to the zoology 
of the Scottish than to that of the English seas. The cen- 
tral portion of our area, the Irish Sea, is a sort of neutral 
ground, from which several forms are absent that are to be 
found both to the south and to the north of it. But such 
types, mostly of southern origin, can be traced in the course 
of their migration along the Atlantic coasts of Ireland, where 
their progress northwards has been favoured by the genial 
influence of warm currents. The most unproductive district 
is the southern half of the eastern coast. — (Forbes and 
Hartley' 8 History of the British Mollusca. Introduction, 
p. xiv.) 

An Account of the Fish River Bush, South Africa ; with a 
Description of the Quadrupeds that inhabit it. By Mr 
W. Black, Staff Assistant-Surgeon. Communicated by 
the Author. 

The Great Fish River Bush would be better understood if 
denominated Jungle, according to Indian nomenclature, the 
meaning of which is well appreciated, from the numerous 
descriptions we possess of that country. The word Bush is, 
as it were, conventional only in this colony ; and what is 
generally taken as its meaning at home is inapplicable here. 
A sheep refers to a single member of the sheep, so a bush sig- 
nifies a part of the Bush. The extent of the colonial Bush can- 
not be estimated by any conception of one who is a stranger 
to its features. A small clump of bush gives one no crite- 
rion to judge of its interminable extent, just as finity can give 
almost no conception of infinity. A distinguished military 
officer, at the commencement of the '35 war, even on his ar- 
rival at Graham's Town, could not understand the meaning of 
the report, that " the Caffrcs were in the Fish River Bush," 

Account of the Fish Bluer Bush, South Africa. 73 

and expressed himself in very strong terms of disbelief that 
a nation of savages could be concealed in it so as to defy 
observation, and render themselves nearly impregnable in 
it. It was only on viewing the expansive scene presented 
of the Bush country from Driver's Hill on the road to 
Fort Peddie, that he began to have some idea of the diffi- 
culties attendant on a warfare with a people possessing such 
a natural fastness. He at first exclaimed, when he was told, 
that was the Bush he disbelieved in, " It cannot be ; what, 
all that greenish covering of the hills and valleys, bush ! no, it 
must be only grass." Such was the deception given of its 
nature by distance. Conviction to the full extent, however, 
overcame him on descending into the Fish River Valley ; and 
on traversing for miles through its tangled thickets, his 
idea of the obstacles he had to contend with in the war un- 
derwent, of course, considerable modification. 

The Great Fish River Bush begins principally about Junc- 
tion Drift, where the Little Fish River enters, and covers 
the valley thence to the sea. It traverses all the numerous 
tributary valleys that pass into the Great Valley, as those 
of the Botha's River, Kowie, Ecca River, and Blaauwe Kran's 
River, Sheshago, Clusie, and Kap Rivers, to a certain distance 
up the course of the Koonap river, and a considerable way up 
the Kat River, nearly as far as Howse's Post. To the south- 
west, it may be said to cover a large triangle of country — 
formed by the Fish River, north and east, and the course of 
the Kap River, along the summit of Governor's Kop, Botha's 
Hills, and the Fish River Berg on the south-west. The Kat 
River Bush is connected with the Great Fish River Bush, lying- 
south of Graham's Town, which last covers the passage of Caflfre 
commandos into Lower Albany and Oliphant's Hoeck. About 
Junction Drift it becomes connected with the Bushman's River 
Bush and the fastnesses of the Zuureberg, across the Com- 
madaga — another covered way for Caifresinto the Uitenhage 
district. Both these routes have been much used by CaflPres 
this war, and act the part of covered ways and sally-ports 
from the citadel of the Great Fish River Bush. By various 
large kloofs east between Trumpeter's and Victoria Post, as 
Foonah's and Doda's Kloofs, it becomes connected with the 

74 Account of the Fish River Bush, South Africa. 

Keiskamma Bush, of similar character, extending from Kaisa's 
Station to the mouth of that river, and these connections 
establish the covered transit for CafFres from CafFraria into 
the great rendezvous of the Fish River Bush. This Bush, last 
war, was the scene of the capture of a train of forty govern- 
ment waggons on the Trumpeter's Hill road ; and this war, 
it lodged two large camps of CafFres and rebel Hottentots, se- 
veral thousands strong, in the bushy kloofs east of the river, 
in the neighbourhood of Committee's Drift, from whence 
issued frequent numerous commandos to devastate the co- 
lony. The attack and dispersion of these in August and 
September 1851, occasioned protracted operations, harassing 
work, and great loss of life amongst the troops. The Ecca 
Bush was the scene of the exploits of the notorious rebel 
Hottentot, Jan Pockbaas, who waylaid and murdered many 
of our men, and plundered several waggons. The Koonap 
Hill road through the Bush, near the Koonap Post, has also 
witnessed roadside robbery and slaughter, and, June last, 
the capture and plunder of a train of ammunition waggons, 
with other military stores, and the loss of a considerable 
number of the escort of Royal Sappers. Various affairs in 
the neighbourhood of Fort Brown, which is in the centre of 
a large bushy country, also attest the advantage taken of 
this cover by the enemy. 

The course of the Fish River, after leaving Somerset, is 
one of the most tortuous in the whole colony, and doubles 
upon itself so frequently, as to completely puzzle a stranger 
to estimate its true course at first sight. The bends it takes 
amongst the hills may be, some of them, four miles at right 
angles to the course ; and if following the stream, increasing 
its length by about ten miles. The river runs in a vast 
valley, bounded by grass-covered hills, which are in nume- 
rous places from twelve to sixteen miles or more apart, and 
it is this entire valley that is covered with bush. The 
boundaries of that part running due east, are the Fish River, 
Berg and Botha's Hill on the south, and the Fish River Rand 
or Caffre Berg on the north. Those of the valley running 
southerly are formed more by its profundity than by the 
rise of the neighbouring country. The Bush country above 

Account of the Fish River Bush, South Africa. 75 

the Kat River junction is habitable for sheep-farmers, during 
peace time, but totally abandoned from its untenableness 
during the war. That part below has seldom been occupied 
at all, except by the military posts here and there. The 
Fish River Valley in ordinary seasons is almost entirely des- 
titute of any water, except what the river itself contains, so 
that the soil is universally very dry, and in consequence 
almost totally unfit for agricultural purposes. In fact no 
good soil of any depth exists, except in the flats along the 
margin of the river, and that is of a sandy, reddish clay. 
The rest of the ground is of a stony, sandy character, the 
surface-stratum in large areas composed of a dark, loose, 
broken-up clayey slate, under which lies the substratum of 
hard quartzose sandstone, which forms in horizontal layers 
the perpendicular faces of the krantzes. Some undulating 
parts of the valley have ground of loose sandstone rock, with 
clay, and are of a yellowish colour in appearance. 

Some few small tributary streams have their channels 
through the valley to the river, rising in the neighbouring 
high country ; but the water, though running only a few miles 
from its sources, soon loses itself by evaporation, or sinking 
ere it traverses the confines of the great valley, or else 
begins to stagnate in pools which, in dry seasons, contain 
brackish water. Such is the case with the Botha's River, 
the Kingo, and nearly all the others. These streams, how- 
ever, in a very rainy season, become torrents, and rush with 
impetuous velocity over their stony bottoms, coloured white 
with mud and debris ; but this surface-water soon expends 
itself, the fountains not being strong. The Fish River itself 
is often stagnant, and sometimes stinking with animal refuse 
and vegetable remains, in long dry seasons, especially about 
March or October. The heavy rains in the upper country, 
usually falling about April and December, bring down enor- 
mous volumes of water, coloured with the red clay washed 
from its banks, and as thick nearly as mud itself, so that 
even horses and cattle will scarcely drink it. Its rise on 
these yearly occasions amounts to from 15 to 30 feet, in 
particular places flooding over its deep clayey banks, and 
carrying down a great quantity of bush and dead timber torn 

76 Account of the Fish River Bush, South Africa. 

away from its banks. On such occasions the sea at its 
mouth is tinged and dirtied reddish for miles out and on 
each side along the coast, and the floated debris is deposited 
in banks along the contiguous beach. The rise of the river 
often takes place suddenly in a volume of water, which pre- 
sents an elevation above the level in front ; and persons dis- 
appointed of a passage across some drift now flooded, may 
by hard riding overtake the stream, and cross at adrift lower 
down. These drifts or fords are the intervening shallow 
places in the deep bed of the river, formed by banks or rocks 
between the several pools into which the stream is divided, 
when at a low standard, and are used by the farmers and 
cattle to pass from one part of the country to another. 
Passages across can be made at these spots, even when the 
river is up to the saddle-flaps, as the bed of the river is there 
known and safe. No roads lead to these drifts, which are 
only known to frequenters of the country : in the path lead- 
ing through the bush to the brink of the river, the bush is so 
high that in many places one may ride under the branches, but 
more frequently the rider must dismount and lead his horse 
through. In wet seasons vleys or ponds of water may be 
found here and there in the flatter parts of the valley, or on 
the level ground on the summit of the eminences, but these 
soon become dried up in the course of a long drought. Dur- 
ing these dry seasons the game of the larger kind repair to 
the banks of the river for water, and its margins are every- 
where imprinted with the spoor of numbers of animals of 
various descriptions, as bucks, wild pigs, koodoos, aardvarks, 
&c. ; and here the sportsman may, by patiently waiting in 
the evenings and mornings, have a chance of surprising and 
shooting some of these game, taking his station among the 
bushes on the opposite side of the river to where he observes 
the recent footprints. It is a circumstance of astonishment 
that such vast areas of land should support such quantities 
of bush without any visible signs of running water anywhere, 
which one would also imagine necessary for its numerous 
animate inhabitants. Deep kloofs and shady ravines are in 
numbers everywhere without this source of vegetation and 
alleviation of thirst, and where one would expect a cool rill of 

Account of the Fish River Bush, South Africa. 77 

water to be springing out to moisten the arid ground. The 
succulent nature of some of the vegetation of the Bush is 
said to supply this deficiency to some extent to its herbivorous 

The valley country, when viewed from the ridge of its 
boundaries, presents a chaos of hills, kloofs, and krantzes, 
with intervening patches of more level ground, and strikes 
one with something like a feeling of silent sublimity at its 
deserted repose, its sombre dark green or brownish green 
appearance, according to the season, its interminable extent, 
and the absence of any cultivated spot of ground, or even of 
a house. As a part of the whole, the valley of the Ecca, look- 
ing east from a favourable height, presents a gradually di- 
verging valley entirely covered with bush, some eight or ten 
miles long by six broad, at the termination of the view, 
which is closed in by the bushy hills and kloofs of the east 
side of the Fish River Valley at Committee's Drift. Forming 
the south boundary of the valley is a range of disrupted bushy 
hills, with intervening deep and rugged kloofs and ravines, 
which constituted the retreat of Jan Pockbaas and his rebel 
banditti. The rvorth side of the valley is filled up by the 
high lands about the Grass-Kop, the sides of which are 
deeply broken by dark kloofs and bushy ridges. In the ex- 
treme distance at the left, and situated on the bank of the 
Great Fish River, may be discerned a yellow spot, Com- 
mittee's Post, now untenanted since the last war. 

Some undefined feelings become impressed from the reflec- 
tion, that within these recesses hordes of savages have lived, 
and that underneath the foliage, impenetrable and insensible to 
the burning rays of a noonday sun, and unmoved by a breath 
of air, repose the leopard in his lair, and the poisonous snake 
in his coil, and that once stalked through it the stately ele- 
phant and the headstrong rhinoceros. One can scarcely sur- 
vey it as you would a battle-field, and point out such and 
such spots as marked by hairbreadth escapes from, and con- 
flicts with, savage foes, as such events here all transpire under 
the surface of this gloomy mantle, the personification of life- 
less, perennial repose. One cannot survey it as you would a 
map, and point out the streams, the roads, the boundaries 

78 Account of the Fish River Bush, South Africa. 

of property, and the habitations of men ; all these, if they 
exist at all, are shrouded from view by the same impene- 
trable winding-sheet, which conceals the action of the savage 
passions of men and brutes, as well as any signs of the 
former's industrial activity. Unseen by the glaring sun has 
the savage butchered the unwary farmer, or tortured his 
captive comrade to death ; unseen have his waggons been 
captured and plundered ; and daylight in vain essayed to 
discern the perhaps drunken orgies of the horrid crew revel- 
ling in wanton destruction and cruelty. The spectator from 
a height hears the reports of fire-arms, at first sharp, and 
sees the eddies of blue vaporous smoke rising out of the 
Bush ; both are now gradually dying away, and savage yells 
and the growling bark of dogs are taking their place ; not a 
leaf moves, nor a living creature to be seen, and soon these 
signs of animate existence fail to be appreciated ; and yet 
this is all that a spectator could record of the surprise and 
slaughter of a company of British soldiers by the Caffres in 
the Committee's Kloofs in the first September of the war. 
Underneath these impassive leaves, and entangled amidst 
impenetrable thickets, the dismayed soldiers fell rapid victims 
to the savage barbarity of the Caffres, and the brutal ferocity 
of the bloodhound (not strictly so, but a large kind of Caffre 
dog). There, no friendly aid, if near, could have discerned 
the deadly struggle or the torturing death, and have carried 
assistance or sought revenge. The darkness of night can- 
not afford a deeper screen for deeds of blood than the tangled 
thickets and dense foliage of the Fish River Bush. As the 
soldier or frontier colonist can tell you of the vicissitudes of 
human life that have transpired in its obscurities, so the 
hunter can relate his incidents of sport carried on in its re- 
cesses. He can call up to mind the herds of elephants that 
once quietly browsed amidst the thickets in yonder valley ; 
can shew you the paths they had formed by their ponderous 
power, which led from the heights to the cool vley or pool of 
water in the still bed of the stream ; can recal to you the 
huge bulk of the rhinoceros or sea-cow, reposing in listless- 
ness in the heat of the day on the shady side of the kloof, 
and point out to you the path he took, and his heavy foot- 

Account of the Fish River Bush, South Africa. 79 

prints in the mud on the banks of the Fish River, when he 
repaired to the stagnant water of the stream for his drink 
or his bath. He can shew you where the ostriches used in 
former years to pick the grass in the open glades on that 
flat spot of ground below. He can shew you the hill ranges 
in the distance, where the koodoo came out to graze in the 
morning, and can take you on his track through the kloof 
and the bush to the bank of the river, where he had drunk 
in the evening. He can tell you of the krantze to which he 
followed the leopard by his spoor from his sheep-kraal, 
whither the brute had carried a ewe ; and recount to you the 
desperate struggle that resulted between his dogs and the 
despoiler, ere he fell to the stroke of the knife or the bullet 
of his roer. He can tell you of the hand-to-hand conflict 
that took place in yonder dark kloof between his comrade 
and a bush tiger, in which his friend was saved by timely as- 
sistance, but to die in a week after of his lacerating wounds. 
The bush covering to this part of the country does not add 
variety of scenery to the confused assemblage of hills, val- 
leys, flats, and krantzes, as it covers over all inequalities of 
ground with a sameness of appearance, and makes almost 
every kloof and koppie exactly resemble each other except in 
size. Its impenetrability is so great that no person is able 
to make any way through it, except through passages made 
formerly by the gigantic elephant, which are well adapted for 
bridle-paths, and were the only roads existing in an early 
state of the colony. Smaller footpaths, made by the present 
denizens of its cover, as the larger bucks, &c., are also avail- 
able means of access to the interior of its recesses. The 
knowledge of these various elephant-paths forms the resource 
of the marauding CafFre, by which he can effect a secure es- 
cape from the pursuit of those unacquainted with the locality 
into the far depths of the jungle, and by which he can readily 
drive the plundered colonial cattle, through an apparently 
impenetrable country, into places of concealment in the stu- 
pendous kloofs that intersect the hilly regions of the bush 
belt. Even should the pursuer be close on the heels of his 
enemy, and the guidance of the spoor should fail in such a 
dry country, no means could enable him to detect cattle con- 

80 Account of the Fish River Bush, South Africa. 

cealed in the kloof he looks down into except that of their 
lowing. Should he reach them, and capture them, he will 
doubtless find the plunderers missing, and nowhere to be 
seen ; yet the Caffres, and numerous too, may still be con- 
cealed in the same kloof, secure from observation, while they 
are aided by the black colour of their skins affording no con- 
trast to the gloom of the recesses they have taken refuge in. 
The only use of the more accessible parts of this impractica- 
ble country is the more open and level parts constituting fine 
pasturage for sheep — the bushes affording them abundance 
of food, even should the grass fail in dry seasons, but then 
the flavour of the mutton distinctly alters, though not b} r any 
means to a disagreeable taste. Whether fossil coal will ever 
be discovered in sufficiently large beds in the country as to 
make it available for general use as fuel, remains to be seen; 
but no fear need be entertained of the failure of firewood, for 
which the majority of this bush is only serviceable, as we 
have here a living coal-field unmerged as yet by a deluge. 
The Bush is denser and more tree-like in the kloofs, and 
opener on the more level and elevated grounds, w T here the 
koodoo and the buck graze, and the wild pig ploughs the 
ground for its food, as the open glades abound after rains 
with abundance of sweet grass, and other such fresh vege- 
table productions. This jungle is never seen to have grown, 
either more extended or higher, in the memory of the inha- 
bitants of this part of the country ; and no encroachments 
are made on it except when grass fires on the hills burn away 
its borders, which remain for a long time scarred and black. 
It is composed of numerous kinds of plants, shrubs, and 
trees, mostly partaking of the thorny prickly character, en- 
tangled by their own branches, and by various creepers, and 
rendered more impassable by thick underwood. Few trees, 
however, are of such a size, or of such a kind, as to furnish 
good timber, which is chiefly procured, for the use of the 
eastern districts, from the forest kloofs of the Kat River dis- 
trict, and those of the Cowie forest in the Mancazuna and 
Kaja districts, but a good proportion of building timber, as 
deals, is imported from England. Stunted Euphorbias grow 
in abundance in every direction, as well in the kloofs as on 
the koppies and flats, and the stately giant OandelabraEuphor- 

Account of the Fish River Bush, South Africa. 81 

bia rears its hydra-headed form above its neighbours in the 
deep hollows, or on the sides of the kloofs — the refuge for the 
hunted baboon, or the perch for the far-sighted aspvogel or 
hawk. Abundance of milky juice distils from incisions in 
its trunk, or the rupture of a branch from the stem, which 
very probably would furnish India-rubber or caoutchouc if 
the proper means were taken to obtain it, and, if successful, 
the material would be in abundance. The sweet-scented jas- 
mine entwines and decorates, with numberless white flowers, 
the different shrubs and trees, whence the wild bee gathers 
its honey. Numerous bulb-like Amaryllides and Narcissus 
shoot up their leaves, and single-stemmed crown of flowers, 
after rains in the spring, from the arid ground of the lower 
parts of the valley. The Speckboom abundantly relieves the 
monotonous evergreen colour of the bush, with its lilac clus- 
tered flowers ; and its succulent subacid gummy leaves, for- 
merly afforded the principal food for the elephant, and are 
now partaken of by the thirsty traveller with relish, and 
often cooked by the native inhabitants into a kind of stew. 
The tops and sides of the koppies and ridges are garrisoned 
by stumpy aloes, with their thin bristling head of leaves, 
often giving the appearance of a picket or party of Caffres to 
patrols traversing the country during war time. The prickly 
Acacia covers the level lands, throwing out, when its yellow 
clustered flowers are in bloom, a delicious fragrance. The 
spear-shaped, the scentless flowers of the Strelitzia may be 
seen shooting up amidst their dark green elongated leaves, 
enlivening with their bright colours the sombre hue of the 
sides and heads of the kloofs. The River Bush is of a dif- 
ferent nature to that covering the rest of the country, and 
marks the course of the stream distinctly to the spectator 
from some height overlooking the valley ; it is greener and 
loftier, and completely overhangs the water in most places, 
so that one scarcely can obtain a view of the stream itself 
till after passing through to the bank of the river. Coarse 
willow trees constitute its largest bush, which is tenanted 
by numerous and various kinds of small birds, some remark- 
able for their shape, others for the beauty of their plum- 
age ; some few have notes, but the majority are destitute of 
VOL. LV. NO. CIX. — JULY 1853. F 

82 Account of the Fish River Bush, South Africa. 

any. The yellow and green finks may be seen disporting in 
multitudes amongst its branches, and entering every now 
and then into their grass-woven nests, hanging from the ex- 
treme twigs of the waving willow, over the surface of a still 
pool of the river. Clumps of the prickly pear, with their 
leaf-like succulent branches, studded with golden yellow 
flowers, into the cups of which the pretty sugarbichi may be 
seen dipping his slender subulate beak, grow here and there 
luxuriantly, affording rich food for the wild pigs, and giving 
the name of Vyge Kraal to a locality on the Fish River. 

The traveller through this jungle may afar witness the 
heavy-winged vultures gathering from different quarters of the 
sky, attracted by the carcase of an ox that has been knocked 
up and died on the road, on which some are already eagerly 
gorging themselves, having the eyes picked out, and they are 
commencing at the entrails. At another quarter in the val- 
ley, flying in circles in the air, may be seen a crowd of eager 
longsighted aspvogels, scared from the carcase of a sheep by 
the arrival of a troop of wild dogs to snatch up the excavated 
remains. From that lofty time-worn krantze overhanging the 
river, may be heard the chattering of the huge ungainly 
baboon, especially in the evenings — the noise elevating itself 
now and then in united chorus, or interrupted by discordant 
shrieks, perhaps indicating the neighbourhood of the stealthy 
tiger, or his seizure of some unlucky member of the commu- 
nity for his evening's repast. The saw-filing cry of the guinea- 
fowl may be heard echoing from the bushy krantze near the 
river in the evenings, when the flock are collecting to roost. 
The crowing concert of the black pheasants arises from the 
bushy thickets along the Fish River here and there, as each 
covey welcomes the rising sun, and the steaming dew. The 
pretty notes of the michi and diedriclc further enliven the 
growing day, and the hoopoe's voice, and the cooing of the 
ringdove, may be distinguished from the depths of some 
kloof or river thicket. That white smoky line advancing 
along the undulations of the bush-covered valley like the 
progressing margin of a grass fire, is a squadron of winged 
locust sin line, the hindmost of which are constantly flying 
over their comrades ahead, to take up the unconsumed vege- 

Singular Irridescent Phenomenon. 83 

tation, while they leave behind them a desert. On nearer 
inspection, the bushes are seen completely covered by their 
brownish grey bodies, heaps of which may be knocked off 
like snow-wreaths by the stroke of a stick, while your horSe 
may be seen with avidity clearing another bush of its devas- 
tators. The still moonlight nights bring one familiar with 
the lively scream of flocks of the white and black plumaged 
plover, and the softer and more prolonged note of the dickop, 
which seem to emerge from their daylight concealment, and 
enjoy the security of searching for their food by night. The 
prowling wolf notifies its proximity to the sheep-kraal in 
rainy dark nights, by its lengthened hollow howl awakening 
the dogs, which answer with their frequent bark. In the 
season nearly every night, either on the road or at home, the 
jackals may be heard raising a concert of shrill cries, in 
answer to each other in the distant bush. Fire makes no deep 
impression on the everlasting verdure of the bush ; and if a 
grass fire stretches to its margin, it merely consumes the 
little at its edge that is of a more open character, but never 
penetrates into the recesses of a kloof. In every respect 
there seems the character of eternity implanted on it. No one 
knows how, or where, or when, it began to grow ; no one has 
witnessed its increase in any way, no one its decay ; no fall of 
the leaf takes place to any appreciable extent, the foliage only 
undergoing in the winter season a brownish shade of colour. 
Inconsumable by fire, waveless by the wind, unharmed by 
the torrents, unchangeable in every vicissitude of season, 
having neither youth nor age imprinted on it, it partakes 
more of the character of a stratum of the surface of the 
earth than anything proper to organic life. 
{To be continued in our nextj) 

Singular Irridescent Phenomenon seen on Windermere Lake, 
October 24, 1851. By J. F. Miller, Esq. Communicated 
by the Author. 

On the 24th inst. (October) a very remarkable irridescent 
appearance was seen on Windermere Lake by a gentleman, 

84 Singular Irridescent Phenomenon. 

(J. C. Mounsey, Sunderland) from whose written description 
I have gathered the following particulars : — 

" The morning was very misty, and the barometer high 
(30*35 Whitehaven) ; between 10 and 11 A.M., the mist 
cleared off, the sky became cloudless, and the air calm, the 
Lake being of a glassy smoothness. At ll h we went on the 
lake, and, in about half an hour I observed brilliant prismatic 
colours on the water near the shore, say half a mile or more 
distant, but no appearance of a bow. I rowed towards the 
spot, and, in doing so, the colours increased in extent and 

" There were two bows, which resembled ordinary rain- 
bows inverted ; both were exceedingly brilliant at the extre- 
mities, and became gradually fainter as they receded from 
the shore. 

" The outer bow came completely down to the boat, which 
appeared to prevent our seeing the crown of the arch ; its 
extremities also proceeded from the shore, and its centre was 
apparently under the feet of the spectator. In both bows, 
the red was on the outside and the violet on the inside, and, 
in both, the light and colours were most brilliant and distinct 
at the extremities, or points of conveyance at the water's 
edge. I am certain there was no rainbow in the sky at the 
time, neither was there any solar halo or any other pheno- 
menon in the air that I observed, of which this could be the 
reflection. I observed that, wherever the prismatic pheno- 
menon shewed itself, there was a sort of scum on the water, 
as though there was some fine dust or bubbles on the surface. 
I put my finger into the water, and found it so dirty as to 
leave a distinct mark behind, which leads me to think that 
what I at first took to be small bubbles must have been some 
sort of dust. Whatever it was, it appeared to me to be the 
cause of the irridescence, as, wherever it was lost, the bows 

" The bows were visible about an hour, and, in looking at 
them, the sun was, of course, directly behind the spectator. 

" The boatmen say, they have sometimes (though very 
rarely) seen a similar phenomenon after the disappearance 
of a mist from the surface of the water." At Whitehaven, 

The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 85 

the sky was also cloudless, but in the evening the air was 

Dr Davy considers that the carbonaceous deposit or soot- 
like film occasionally observed on the lakes of Westmore- 
land, is really of the nature of soot, derived from the adjoin- 
ing manufacturing districts, wafted thither by the wind, and 
falling with the mist or light rain. The film burns in the 
same manner as soot, sinks when wet in water, imparts a 
brownish hue to transmitted light, and, under the microscope, 
appears to be composed of particles more or less irregular in 
form, varying in size from ^oV o^h to T15 \ q th of an inch. Dr 
D. further thinks that the precipitation is an ordinary rather 
than an uncommon occurrence here, as is shewn by the dis- 
coloration of the sheep of the country, especially after ex- 
posure of many months on the higher fells. Seen on the 
mountain pastures, or, when driven into the lower meadows 
in the early spring, their coats are of so dark a hue, as to 
resemble closely those of their fellows fed in the most smoky 
precincts of our great towns ; and, on examination, the 
colouring matter staining the fleece is found to be similar to 
that of the black film of the lakes and tarns, and, in brief, it 
is essentially soot.* 

J. F. Miller. 

Observatory, Whitehaven, 
April 1853. 

On the Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 

(Continued from page 323 of vol. liv.) 

Although with regard to the majority of minerals and rocks 
which present a porphyritic structure, the inference to be 
drawn from the before-mentioned facts is, that the formation 
of the imbedded substances has been subsequent to that of the 
entire mass, and probably even to the perfect solidification of 
the matrices, it is undoubtedly necessary to take a different 

* Edinburgh Philosophical Journal for January 1852, p. 64, and private 
letter from Dr Davy. 

86 The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 

view of the origin of conglomerates generally, and likewise 
of some porphyritic masses. 

The formation of ice upon ploughed land, and at the bot- 
toms of rivers, appears to furnish a very instructive illustra- 
tion of the mode in which conglomerates are produced. 
When after long-continued rain a frost sets in, ice is rapidly 
formed between the lumps of earth which are thus gradually 
separated from each other. The formation of ground ice in 
rivers commences in a similar manner between the pebbles, 
and in both cases a kind of conglomerate is produced in 
which the cementing substance is ice. At the present time 
a conglomerate is gradually forming in the bed of the 
Neckar in a precisely analogous manner. The water of this 
river contains carbonates of magnesia and lime in solution, 
and these substances are deposited in the form of dolomite 
between the pebbles, separating them from each other, and 
cementing them together. 

Immediately above the brown coal at Klein Augesd, near 
Teflitz, there is a bed of quartz pebbles cemented together 
by iron pyrites. There can be no doubt that this bed is 
more recent than the underlying coal, and that the iron 
pyrites is more recent than the overlying bed of clay. The 
pyrites has here been formed by the reducing action of the 
coal upon ferruginous solutions filtering through the clay, 
and being deposited between the quartz pebbles, has gradu- 
ally pushed them apart, and cemented the whole into one 

In the neighbourhood of Freiberg, a sandstone is now be- 
ing formed from the sandy refuse of the ore washing. This 
refuse contains iron pyrites, and the oxide of iron resulting 
from its decomposition cements together the siliceous par- 
ticles in such a way that hand specimens of the mass cannot 
be distinguished from an ordinary ferruginous sandstone. 

In the alluvium of Meronitz (Bohemia), iron pyrites has 
been deposited between fragments of pyrope, forming a con- 
glomerate on a small scale. The cementing matter of the 
pyrope is sometimes green opal, and more rarely gypsum. 

Judging from the phenomena of imbedded nodules, it ap- 
pears, as Fournet has very justly remarked, that many stra- 

The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals, 87 

tified rocks cannot always have possessed the same state of 
cohesion and density which they now present. Where the 
geognostic characters of rocks put their sedimentary origin 
beyond all question, it must not be supposed that their for- 
mation consisted solely in mere mechanical deposition ; on 
the contrary, it seems that in such cases chemical action has 
not commenced until this has ceased. If, then, this is true 
of the secondary and tertiary rocks, it is still more probable 
with regard to those of more ancient date, which, there is 
good reason to suppose, remained for long periods in a 
softened condition. 

The conglomerates occurring in lodes, although not essen- 
tially different, have been produced under somewhat modified 
conditions. In this case, it is generally fragments of the ad- 
joining rock which are imbedded in one or more crystallised 
minerals. In the lodes near Freiberg, fragments of mica- 
slate are found entirely imbedded in crystalline quartz, and 
large masses of gneiss, perfectly detached from the adjoin- 
ing rock, are found, especially near the roofs, covered with 
the various minerals composing the lode, and arranged in 
the same order as at the true saalbands. In the lodes of 
Schlottwitz, near Dresden, which have suffered repeated dis- 
locations, very sharp-edged fragments of band agate are 
cemented together, and as it were imbedded in amethyst. 
The lodes of red haematite in the upper Erzgebirge have suf- 
fered similar dislocations, and fragments of this mineral are 
now found imbedded in quartz. 

In all these instances, it appears obvious that the imbed- 
ded substances are older than the matrices, and it is proba- 
ble that the same view must be adopted with regard to that 
class of agates which are surrounded by a crust of porphyry 
sometimes of essentially different character to the mass in 
which they are imbedded. These porphyry-agate balls were 
perhaps originally adventitious fragments of another rock. 
Hot aqueous vapour or other gases may have removed some 
of their constituents, and left the silica in a hydrated opaline 
state. There are some facts which greatly favour the opi- 
nion that quartz has been formed by the contraction and 
dehydration of opal. For example, in the lodes at Johann- 

88 The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 

georgenstadt (Saxony), small masses of white opal occur im- 
bedded in hornstone, close to somewhat larger quartz druses 
in the same hornstone. These quartz druses are perfectly 
closed, and sometimes covered with an exterior crust of opal, 
and, when broken, are found to contain water. It is there- 
fore highly probable that these agates, which differ widely 
from those formed by infiltration, have been formed by the 
contraction of opal. 

The occurrence in eruptive rocks of imbedded masses, 
undoubtedly adventitious, and whose original condition 
may in some instances be recognised, is very frequent. 
The so-called basalt jasper consists of fragments of some 
foreign rock. The sandstone of the " Blauen Kuppe" (Hesse 
Cassel) is more or less altered at its contact with basalt 
approximating in character to basalt jasper. The basalt jas- 
per of Johanngeorgenstadt, and that near Eisenach, are more 
homogeneous, but streaks resembling those of the gneiss from 
which they have originated are still perceptible. At Hohen 
Borkenstein (Bavaria), the fragments of basalt jasper con- 
tain crystals of felsite which communicate to it a porphyritic 
appearance. It is, however, very probable that the altera- 
tion of rocks, consisting chiefly of silica and alumina, into 
basalt jasper, has not been caused by volcanic heat alone, 
but perhaps more essentially by the introduction of sub- 
stances from the basalt. 

These facts will sufficiently shew, that with regard to the 
phenomena of adventitious admixtures no definite mode of 
association can be recognised, it being entirely a matter of 
chance that an eruptive rock tears away and encloses frag- 
ments of those through which it penetrates, nor have these 
phenomena any further connection with the present subject, 
than as serving to prove that the substances imbedded in 
mixed rocks or simple minerals may be of very different 
origin, and that any exterior resemblance, especially of 
form, is insufficient by itself to justify the inference of a 
similar mode of formation. Thus, the nodules of olivine and 
basalt jasper occurring in basalt, and alike both in shape and 
size, have certainly originated by very different processes. 

In some rare instances the matrix of a porphyritic rock 
would appear to be the most recent. Both Darwin andCredner 

The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 89 

mention the occurrence of broken felsite crystals in granite, 
and Noggerath has observed them in trachyte. In a lava at 
Etna, crystals of pyroxene have been found collected together 
at the under surface, as if they had sunk. However, it is 
probable that these facts will not admit of any other infer- 
ence than that there was some interval between the soldifica- 
tion of the matrix and that of the imbedded substances. On 
the other hand, there are mixtures of minerals presenting a 
porphyritic appearance, of which the matrix is undoubtedly of 
much later date than the minerals it contains. Quartz very 
frequently contains tourmaline, sometimes in crystals, though 
never perfect ones. The terminal planes at one end of the 
crystal may be perfect, but the other end is always broken. 
It is most frequently found in fragments, sometimes even 
curved and cracked, and the quartz is found to adhere more 
strongly to the electro-negative pole of the fragments. When 
there is a preponderance of tourmaline in this mixture, it is 
called tourmaline rock or schorl. It often contains cassite- 
rite very finely disseminated throughout its mass ; and, be- 
sids other localities, it occurs in Cornwall. In this mixture, 
the quartz must be the more recently formed, for whenever 
definite crystals of quartz and tourmaline are associated in 
druses, the quartz is always implanted upon the tourmaline. 
It is therefore extremely probable that this rock was formed 
by a deposition of silica in an opaline condition around 
tourmaline crystals, and that on its subsequent conversion 
into quartz, the crystals were broken by the contraction of 
the siliceous mass. 

Fragments of some species of epidote occur imbedded in 
quartz in a precisely similar manner. The contortions and 
fractures of these fragments are sometimes very marked, as 
in the magnesian epidote of St Marcel, the zoisite of the 
Tyrol and Carinthia, &c. It is further probable that the 
so-called epidote rock is precisely analogous in point of for- 
mation to the above-mentioned tourmaline rock. Quartz, 
when associated with epidote in crystals, is always implant- 
ed upon it. The epidote and quartz veins in the diorite of 
I Neustadt (Saxony), of the Labyrinth Berge (Bavaria), the 
druses from Arendal (Norway), Bourg d'Oisans, Pitkarand 

90 The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 

(Russian Finland), and all other localities, without any ex- 
ception, furnish evidence of the more recent formation of the 

The same remarks apply to beryl, fragments of it occurring 
imbedded in quartz (America and Siberia), while it appears 
of anterior formation to the quartz with which it is associated 
in druses. When definite crystals of topaz and quartz are 
associated together in druses, as in Siberia and Saxony, the 
latter always appears as the more recently-formed mineral ; 
but there is in the collection of Prince Lobkowitz a large 
crystal of quartz from Capo di Villa Rica (Brazil), contain- 
ing an imbedded fragment of topaz. 

Near Krageroe (Norway), fragments of amphibole occur 
imbedded in a reddish white felsite, which is probably peg- 

Wherever wolframite and scheelspar are associated, the 
latter must be regarded as a product of the decomposition of 
the former, which is always the older mineral. When they 
form twins, the wolframite is never in a perfect state at the 
points of contact. However, a large mass of scheelite from 
Schlaggenwald (Bohemia), contains imbedded fragments of 
ferro-wolframite crystals, the edges of which are somewhat 
broken. This mineral has recently been met with in a simi- 
lar manner in iron pyrites at Schneeberg ; while, in other 
places, iron pyrites appears as the more recent mineral, being 
implanted upon the wolframites. 

The following table comprises the most important instances 
of porphyritic structure, either in simple minerals or in 
those rocks which, like basalt clay-slate, appear to the naked 
eye to be homogeneous. Among the sedimentary rocks are 
some which, like astrite-slate, talc slate, &c, cannot be re- 
garded as such in their present state : — 

I. Porphyritic Minerals which do not occur as rocks : — 

Substances imbedded. 
Calcite, . . . Mica. 

Chlorite, . 
Sanidino, . 

Garnet, scheelite. 
Black amphibole. 

Apatite, hauyne, nosean, nepheline, meion- 
ite, melanite, zirkon, titanite, ilmenite. 

The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 


Labrador, . 
Lode quartz, 

Garnet (aplome), 
Garnet (riraosus), 
Iron pyrites, 

Copper pyrites, . 

Magnetic pyrites, 
Copper glance, . 

II. Sedimentary Rocks 
Rock salt, . 
Gypsum, . 

Crystalline limestone, 
exclusive of the primi- 
tive limestones, 

Compact limestone with- 
out lustre, likewise as 

Dolomite, . 

Astrite* slate, . 

Talc- slate — the absence 
of quartz is here like- 
wise remarkable, 

Hornblende slate 

(quartz absent), 
Clay slate, 

An astrite, corundum. 

Pyrophylite, iron pyrites, and a great num- 
ber of the metalliferous minerals occur- 
ring in lodes. 

Scapolite (Arendal.) 



Glassy actinolite, quartz with a fatty 
lustre and in rounded crystals (Boden- 
mais, Bavaria), gelbnickelkies (Dillen- 
burg, Nassau). 

Aplome, iron pyrites, tesseral pyrites, 
heavy cobalt glance. 

An amphibole, iron pyrites, copper pyrites. 

Iron pyrites. 

Glauberite, anhydrite. 

Rock salt, crystals of gypsum, tharandite, 
arragonite,boracite, quartz, iron pyrites, 

Calcite, meroxene, wollastonite, couzeran- 
ite, glassy actinolite, pyreneit, magnet- 
ite, iron pyrites, heavy cobalt glance. 

} Calcite, coccolite, quartz, iron pyrites, 

Dolomite, tremolite, tourmaline, corundum 
(Airolo, Switzerland), iron pyrites. 

Rock salt, boracite, sulphur. 

Dolomite, breunerite, apatite, talc, glassy 
actinolite and other amphiboles, pista- 
cite, diopsid, garnet, beryl, several tour- 
malines, titanite, magnetite, iron py- 
rites, mispickel. 

Dolomite, breunerite, glassy actinolite, 
disthene, galenite, dichroite, and pseudo- 
morpus derived from it, as fahlunite, 
magnetite, iron pyrites, arsenical pyrites. 

Garnet, magnetite. 

Amphibole altered to substances resem- 
bling serpentine and alusite, generally 
in the altered varieties called chiarto- 
lite, iron pyrites, mispickel, leucopyrite, 

* Breithaupt applies this term to the astrite or mica, with one optical axis, 
which occurs as a rock without being in all cases chlorite. The chlorite slate 
is included. Quartz is usually altogether absent. 

92 The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 

Serpentine is in all cases a product of the alteration of either eruptive 
or sedimentary rocks. The minerals imbedded in it are usually pseudo- 
morphous, as, for instance, phastine, which has undoubtedly originated 
from bronzite. 

III. Eruftive Rocks. In these the absence of quartz and phengite is 
very remarkable : — 

Basalt, . . . Astrite, hauyne, sanidine, oligoclase (near 

Predazzo, Tyrol), basaltic amphibole, 
bronzite, augite, zirkon, corundum, oli- 
vine, ilmenite, magnetic pyrites. 

Phonolite, . . Nepheline, sanidine, basaltic amphibole, 

semeline, ilmenite. 

Compact felsite (the ] Astrite (rare), liebenerite, pegmatolite, 
most frequent por- > oligoclase, pistacite, quartz, iron pyrites, 
phyry), . . J gold. 

Pitchstone, . . Astrite, sanidine, quartz. 

Obsidian, . . . Sanidine. 

Pyroxene (augitic) lava Astrite, sodalite,leucite, sanidine, Labrador 
pyroxene, olivine, hyalosiderite. 

The last two rocks, which have undoubtedly been formed 
at a very high temperature, are free from either amphibole 
or quartz. 

Although clay-slate was considered above as a relatively 
homogeneous rock, it is, with the exception of that which lies 
above graywacke, undoubtedly in the greater number of in- 
stances, a very intimately mixed crystalline mass, probably 
identical in most respects with mica-slate and gneiss, and as 
such to be included among the mixed rocks. 

There can be no doubt that granite is chiefly eruptive, 
both on account of its geognostic position and frequent pene- 
tration of schistose rocks. However, the assumption that it 
has been in a state of igneous liquidity, is attended with 
great difficulties, although it is true that felsite may be 
formed at a very high temperature. The temperatures at 
which the mineralogical constituents of granite fuse, differ 
too widely to admit of the supposition that they were formed 
from a melted mass. Again silica, when heated with basic 
silicates, readily enters into combination, forming neutral or 
acid salts ; thus the slags from iron furnaces consist of bi- or 
tri-silicates, and contain uncombined silica only when there 
is a great excess in proportion to the bases. The slags of 

The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 93 

the Freiberg furnaces, formed at a much lower temperature, 
consist only of neutral and basic silicates, or, if there is a 
large quantity of silica, of bisilicates. It is further remark- 
able that quartz is never met with in rocks which have un- 
doubtedly been formed by igneous fusion. However, the 
mica in granite is not only fusible at a comparatively low 
temperature, but is likewise in most cases a neutral silicate. 

While, then, there is little difficulty in regarding rocks, 
consisting solely of silicates, as products of melted masses, 
the case is very different with rocks containing both quartz 
and neutral silicates. Some kind of hydrated pasty condition 
is perhaps more easily conceivable with regard to them, and 
at the same time their geognostic relations and transition 
into gneiss, mica-slate, &c, must not be overlooked. Granite 
is most frequently found to penetrate these rocks. More 
rarely it forms beds conformable with mica-slate ; and al- 
though these are declared to be the result of injection, there 
is sometimes difficulty in perceiving from whence the granite 
has been derived, — as, for instance, between Penig and Wol- 
kenburg (Saxony), where there is no granite in the immediate 
vicinity of the mica-slate. Further, lavas and basalt contain 
no quartz, and the felsites met with in them are seldom or 
ever of the same species as in granite. Pegmatolite has 
never been found in basalt phonolite or lava, nor sanidine or 
ryacolite in gneiss. 

It must likewise be remembered, that it still remains pro- 
blematical whether the rocks possessing a schistose structure 
are to be considered as the most ancient. There is, indeed, 
some considerable probability that they are not of sedimen- 
tary origin, for it may be supposed they were formed by the 
solidification and scaling of the primitive liquid or pasty mass 
of the earth at the surface, and that granite was formed more 
slowly in the less agitated layers at a greater depth. Du- 
rocher, however, says that it is in Scandinavia that we might 
expect to find among the rocks of the greatest antiquity the 
true primitive granite, which perhaps formed the original 
solid surface of our planet. But gneiss is nowhere found 
resting upon granite which we can venture to regard as more 
ancient than itself. 

94 The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 

The rocks in contact with granite are not in all cases dis- 
turbed or penetrated by it. There can be no doubt that the 
perfectly undisturbed strata surrounding the granitic mass at 
Aue, near Schneeberg, were formerly continuous. Their 
place, however, is now occupied by granite. The fact, that 
at the surfaces of contact of these strata with the granite, 
there is a great preponderance of quartz crystals, those seated 
upon the slate being remarkably large, and projecting into 
the granite, as from the saalbands of a lodes, is a sufficient 
proof that this change consisted, not in any actual fusion of 
the rock, but merely in a softening which permitted a new che- 
mical adjustment of the elements. It is not at all improbable 
that the primitive mass from which this group of rocks was 
formed was still liquid at some depth, and that when, from 
some cause, the gneiss was again softened or rendered pasty, 
it assumed, upon after solidification, the form, not of gneiss, 
but of granite ; for, during this second solidification, at a 
depth below the surface, the mass would have been beyond 
the influence of those disturbing causes which have already 
been alluded to as probably inducing the stratification of 

All the members of this group probably resemble each 
other as much in regard to the temperatures at which they 
were formed as they do in date. From the analogy, in all 
essential points, between granite and granulite, granite and 
gneiss, granite and mica-slate, there is no ground for assum- 
ing that one was of igneous and another of aqueous origin. 

The differences presented by the individual rocks of this 
group is but a very slight obstacle to the opinion that they 
have originated from the same primitive mass, especially when 
it is remembered how greatly the petrographic character of 
granite or gneiss varies, even in the same mass ; that the oc- 
currence of certain accessory constituents is confined to par- 
ticular spots ; and that they all pass into each other accord- 
ing to the presence or absence of one or other of these con- 

The views entertained with regard to the sedimentary 
members of the group of crystalline rocks are very different, 
and even opposite. That which regards them as altered me- 

The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 95 

tamorphic rocks, has recently gained ground, although with- 
out being in itself very definite ; for, while some geologists 
assume that erupted rocks originated from the agglutination, 
and even fusion, of sedimentary deposits, others consider that 
erupted masses have effected the metamorphism of sedimen- 
tary rocks. Taking into consideration the contact phenomena 
so abundantly made known by Murchison, the latter appears 
to be most probable ; but it is not applicable to all kinds of 
gneiss, mica, and clay-slates, which are so frequently in con- 
tact with granite, syenite, &c. ; and in those cases are 
most probably primitive, as their mineralogical analogy with 
those rocks is very close. 

The accessory constituents occurring in the principal rocks 
of this group are the following : — 

Rocks. Accessory Constituents. 

Gneiss, . Oligoclase, disthene, garnet, tourmaline, dichroite 

(only in certain conditions, such, as contact 
with granite), rutile, allanite. 

Mica-slate, . Chlorite (associated with the usual mixture of 
quartz and phengite,* forming a quite pecu- 
liar kind of mica-slate (between Falkenau and 
Schellenberg, Erzgebirge), amphibole, dis- 
thene, garnet, tourmaline, and alusite (it is re- 
markable that this mineral is almost always ac- 
companied by fibriolite), staurotide, magnetite, 
allanite, iron pyrites, gadolinite, gold, graphite. 

According to Durocher, the occurrence of many crystallized 
minerals imbedded in the gneiss and mica-slate of the Scan- 
dinavian peninsula is limited to the granite and amphibole 
dikes penetrating these rocks. The principal minerals con- 
tained in these rocks, and apparently connected with the 
phenomena of metamorphism, are amphiboles, pyroxenes, 
garnets, epidotes, disthene, dichroite, tourmaline, beryl, topaz, 
apatite, titanite, rutile, and graphite. He excludes gado- 
linite and orthite, which are undoubtedly quite independent 
of gneiss, and occur only in coarse-grained granite dikes. 

Granite, . Apatite, monazite, astrite, nepheline, petalite, 
pegmatolite (in crystals), amazonite, oligo- 

* It is, however, very rare to find astrite and phengite associated in the same 

96 The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 

clase* (perhaps always accompanied by peg- 
matolite, and surrounding it in a wreathlike 
manner), tetartine, labrador, spodumene, epi- 
dote, disthene, garnet, zirkon, beryl, tourma- 
line, topaz, chrysoberyl, titanite (when this 
mineral occurs, the granite is always very 
poor in mica), pyrochlor, magnetite, cassiterite, 
ilmenite, spessartite, specular iron, iytteroil- 
raenite, mengite, columbite, tantalite (always 
accompanied by the prior formed beryl), aeschy- 
nite, orthite, gadolinite, euxenite, iron pyrites, 

The occurrence of molybdanum glance has also been re- 
corded, although it probably occurs only in fissures. No kind 
of rock presents such an abundance of accessory minerals as 
granite. Some which, like corundum, arsenical pyrites, gold, 
&c, are questionable, have not been enumerated. 

Syenite. — This rock, consisting essentially offelsite-mikro- 
line, pegmatolite or labrador, and black amphibole, has been 
frequently confounded with gabbro and hypersthene rock, 
when the amphibole was regarded as pyroxene. Syenite has 
probably been formed at a somewhat lower temperature than 
dolerite, diabase, nepheline rock, basalt, &c, as the formation 
of amphiboles does not require so high a temperature as the 
pyroxenes, with the exception of spodumene. Most of the 
accessory minerals contained in syenite occur also in granite, 
and these rocks are sometimes seen to pass into each other. 

Besides those modes of occurrence of minerals already 
spoken of, as indicating, in the greater number of instances, 
some sort of segregative formation, there are others which 
resemble them in this particular, although presenting differ- 
ent petrographic features. Among these are the masses of a 
mineral, or most frequently of several minerals, which may 
be essential constituents, or accidental admixtures, of the 
rock in which they are imbedded. The outlines of these 
masses are not very well defined, but they are remarkable 
for the perfect character of the minerals which compose 
them. Some few present a considerable resemblance in one 
particular, — the mineral species — occurring with masses of 
primitive limestone (Kalkstoeken); and, notwithstanding other 

* Apparently a much more frequent mineral than was hitherto supposed. 

The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 97 

differences, it is possible that their modes of formation were 

It can scarcely be doubted that these minerals have crystal- 
lised out from the mass of the rocks ; they have even formed 
druses in which a definite succession of species may be re- 
cognised. It is moreover probable that they were originally 
in a viscous state, and that the drusy cavities were formed in 
consequence of the contraction on cooling and crystallising. 

These masses of minerals are in every respect connected 
with porphyritic rocks and those nodular masses which may 
be regarded as the result of contraction. There are, how- 
ever, such masses of minerals which from their magnitude 
cannot be examined on all sides, — in Scandinavia for in- 
stance ; — and it is a question of some difficulty whether these 
are not plutonic injections. 

In the schistose rocks, masses of crystallised minerals 
sometimes present a similarity to beds, and perhaps many of 
the deposits of minerals which are regarded as beds of small 
extent are in reality the result of a segregation of chemical 
constituents subsequent to the formation of the true strata. 
The facts which have been observed in connection with these 
masses of minerals, afford additional evidence in favour of the 
view already expressed, that in the formation of rocks me- 
chanical accumulation has been followed at some period by a 
chemical re-adjustment of the constituent molecules, giving 
rise to those physical and mineralogical characters which 
they now present. 

Another mode of occurrence of minerals, connected, as re- 
gards their origin, with the porphyritic structure, is pre- 
sented by the so-called divergent zones — accumulations of 
minerals which are so situated as to intersect at an acute 
angle the planes of stratification of the schistose rocks. Some 
of the most remarkable mineral deposits of Scandinavia be- 
long to this class. Their origin is obscure, but Professor 
Breithaupt is of opinion that they were formerly lodes, which, 
together with the rocks in which they are situated, have suf- 
fered metamorphism,* thereby losing their sharp lines of de- 
marcation, — the saalbands. 

* With regard to the metamorphism of rocks there appear to be good grounds 
VOL. LV. NO. CIX. — JULY 1853, G 

98 The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 

These divergent zones frequently contain the same mi- 
nerals as the above-mentioned masses and the primitive 
limestone. In the divergent zones of cobalt glance in very 
quartzy gneiss at Skutterud (Norway), a brown phengite mica 
occurs in a very characteristic manner. It is, however, less 
abundant in those parts of the zone containing amphibole, 
which is chiefly associated with arsenical pyrites. It is not 
an improbable conjecture that these deposits of cobalt glance 
were formerly lodes containing spathic iron, spies cobalt, iron 
and arsenical pyrites, which in the general metamorphism 
were converted into magnetite, cobalt glance, and tesseral 
pyrites. A number of instances prove that in metamorphic 
rocks amphibole is very abundantly associated with the more 
ferruginous minerals — a circumstance to which Durocher has 
specially drawn attention.* 

These zones are sometimes interrupted apparently as 
though the substance of the pre-existing lodes had collected 
together in masses during the metamorphism. The deposits 
of magnetite in Scandinavia present these characters, and at 
Arendal they contain phrenite and datolite minerals, which 
otherwise occur only in lodes and vesicular cavities. It is 
likewise probable that the deposits of copper pyrites and 
galena in Scandinavia belong to this class, as well as deposits 
of pyrites, blende, and garnet, in the Upper Erzgebirge, the 
Banat Servia. &c, which present great analogies to those of 

for the opinion that there are two kinds, the one giving rise to the production 
of definite minerals, the other consisting in an alteration, more or less complete, 
of such minerals into suhstances which are not strictly speaking mineral species. 
In the former process, although thermic agency may occupy an important place, 
it is perhaps more advisable to apply to it the term plutonic, which admits of 
a wider signification. The latter process, in which water appears to be a prin- 
cipal agent, takes place chiefly in limestone rocks ; those consisting essentially 
of amphfbole and felsite (dioritic), and those consisting of pyroxene and felsite 
(greenstones) producing pseudomorphous hydrated silicates, among which, as re- 
gards frequency, serpentine takes the first place; then follow pyrallolite, praslite, 
gigantolite, aspasiolite, phastine, and all the ophitic substances. Most of the 
asbestus occurring in veins in serpentine and diorite, was most probably at some 
period amphibole or pyroxene. 

* Etudes sur lc metamorphisme des roches. Bulletin de la Societe Geol. de 
France, 2 C scr., torn. iii. 

The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 99 

The same remark applies to the beds of brown iron ore 
in the zechstone of Thuringia, which consist chiefly of altered 
spathic iron — accompanied, when this was manganiferous, by 
the usual varieties of wad, — tile ore, and copper pecherz, mala- 
chite and copper lazure, resulting from the alteration of 
copper pyrites, and even unaltered copper pyrites and fahlerz. 
The only difference is, that the metamorphism in this in- 
stance would have been aqueous. If this is really the case, 
these Thuringian deposits would correspond with the very 
frequent lode formation bearing spathic iron, heavy spar, 
copper pyrites, &c. 

The so-called primitive limestone and dolomite occurring as 
true beds in the older rocks, are objects of particular interest 
to the geologist, and their origin has not yet been satisfac- 
torily explained. They differ from the ordinary limestones 
and dolomites, in containing imbedded in their mass silicates 
and aluminates, as for instance the Teufelstein (Saxony), in 
which even garnets and epidotes occur. But the same kind 
of white crystalline limestone, sometimes passing into gra- 
nular calcite, occurs in enormous masses, generally without 
any very definite outlines, and in their general characteristics 
somewhat resembling lodes, as well as in smaller masses 
which differ still less from true lodes. They moreover pre- 
sent a remarkable abundance of imbedded minerals. Various 
opinions have been entertained as to their real nature and 
origin. Their analogy to lodes is in many instances indis- 
putable, as for example at Wunschendorf, Lengefeld, Boden, 
Miltitz, Tharand, &c. (Saxony), at the Bergstrasse on the 
right bank of the Rhine, and the Cipollino-stock at the 
Kaiserstuhl (Baden), in the centre of a volcanic cone. This 
perhaps applies equally to the similar masses of limestone in 
Scandinavia, Finnland, the Banat, Servia, the Alps and the 
Pyrenees, as well as to the red limestone of the island Tyrie. 
It is indeed probable that the masses ejected from Vesuvius 
are derived from such a mass of limestone. Finally, the crys- 
talline limestones of North America, so rich in beautiful 
minerals, must be included in the same class. 

In these lode-like masses there are no layers parallel to the 
saalbands, but the entire mass is granular, almost always pure 


100 The Paragenctic Relations of Minerals. 

white, with the various minerals distributed irregularly 
throughout. Druses are sometimes met with, and in those in- 
stances definite successions of mineral species are recog- 
nisable. Sometimes relations of age may be detected in the 
groups of minerals surrounded by limestone. Upon the whole, 
however, it would appear as though the minerals had been 
formed almost simultaneously. 

It may be inferred from these circumstances, that the entire 
space occupied by such a mass was at once filled with a 
chaotic mixture, from which the various minerals gradually 
separated. The conjecture is therefore natural that the lime 
and magnesia were not erupted as carbonates, but as a caustic, 
and probably pasty mass, which, acting upon the adjoining 
siliceous rocks, gave rise to the formation of new silicates, 
aluminates, titanites, together with such other minerals as 
fluor spar, apatite, anhydrous iron ores, magnetic pyrites, 
and graphite. With regard to these masses it is impossible 
to assume that the formation of these minerals has taken 
place by a gradual infiltration of solutions. Many of the 
minerals have suffered subsequent alteration, — amphiboles, 
pyroxenes, &c, have been converted into serpentine and 
other ophitic substances. 

Professor Breithaupt regards as untenable the view put 
forward by Mr Dana* of the formation of these primitive 
limestones from coral beds by a metamorphic action of hot 
sea-water. The circumstance which appears to be most 
strongly opposed to that view is, that in Europe at least the 
primitive limestone occurs in rocks which are much older 
than the coralline limestones. In many instances, moreover, 
their eruptive origin cannot be doubted, and this cannot be 
reconciled with their formation from coral beds. 

Quartz occurs in these limestones but very rarely, a circum- 
stance which appears to follow naturally from the presence 
of lime and magnesia with which it was capable of combining. 

While the interpretation of the last two classes of pheno- 
mena presented very serious difficulties, those which now come 
under consideration — vesicular cavities, and the minerals they 
contain — are far more intelligible. 

Silliman\s Journal 844, p. 135. 

The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 101 

The artificial substances which most resemble rocks are un- 
doubtedly the slags of smelting furnaces and glasses. Many 
of the former are incorrectly regarded as un crystalline, and 
those which are sub- or mono-silicates, although in large pieces 
their fracture is conchoidal, almost always possess a granular 
crystalline structure. The higher silicates are generally true 
glasses. Both in the one and the other, vesicular cavities 
occur very commonly, which are considered to have been 
caused by the disengagement of gas during their formation. 

Many lavas, especially those of active volcanoes, are closely 
analogous to these slags and glasses, and are quite as vesi- 
cular as the crystalline slags of the Freiberg and other silver 
works. Obsidian, a true natural glass, is almost always 

In the lavas belonging to more remote, although historic 
periods, minerals are now and then found, whose chemical 
nature does not admit of their being regarded as original 
constituents. Thus, for instance, gypsum and vivianite, 
Fe O 3 Po 5 8 H 0, which it cannot for a moment be doubted 
are relatively of very recent formation. Crystals of gyp- 
sum are likewise met with in the vesicles of the slags 
from the Muldner Hiitten (Freiberg). Moreover, the greater 
part of those rocks in which interesting associations of mi- 
nerals in vesicular cavities are met with, are eruptive rocks. 
It may therefore be fairly inferred that the formation of these 
cavities is owing to a disengagement of gas. These vesicular 
rocks, at the same time, almost always possess a porphyri- 
tic structure ; but, what is still more remarkable, they are 
seldom met with in the state in which it is probable they for- 
merly existed. They are frequently disintegrated, the fracture 
generally dull, they present no distinctive mineralogical cha- 
racters, and may have been basalt, melaphyr, trachyte, diorite, 
or perhaps lava, dolorite, &c. Amygdaloids likewise are very 
rarely fresh rocks. Even furnace slags are altered when not 
piled up in heaps, from which the meteoric water cau readily 
run off. The originally sharp-cornered fragments break 
down and cohere, forming in the course of time a compact 
mass, which frequently does not resemble the original sub- 
stance in any single character. The atmospheric influence 

102 The Paragenetlc Relations of Minerals. 

is here evident in the course of from 50 to 200 years, and 
Professor Breithaupt considers that this long-continued influ- 
ence may have converted many rocks into substances quite 
different from what they were at their original solidification. 

Generally speaking, fresh unaltered phonolite is not vesi- 
cular, but only slightly porous, and scattered blocks of it are 
then only superficially weathered ; vesicular phonolite, on the 
contrary, is scarcely anywhere met with in a fresh state, but 
is decomposed throughout. Struve shewed that the weathered 
crust of phonolite had lost its potash and soda. E. G. Gmelhvs 
investigation of phonolite shewed that it consisted of a zeo- 
litic substance, soluble in acids, and a silicate having the 
composition of felsite, insoluble in acids, and further, that in 
the vesicles and veins the former was more or less wanting, 
sometimes entirely so, while these vesicles and veins con- 
tained natrolite, which cannot be regarded as of simultane- 
ous formation with the phonolite, but has probably been 
formed by the extraction of the rock by water. Walterhau- 
sen states that the zeolites of Iceland generally occur in a 
crumbled earthy bed of decomposed rock, and that the calcite 
occurs there in the same manner. 

It is probable that the vesicular cavities in rocks have not 
in all instances been produced at the original formation of 
the rock. Pearlstone, pitch stone, and some f el sites, become 
vesicular when heated. 

Cavities resembling vesicles have likewise sometimes been 
formed by the decomposition and removal of imbedded no- 
dules, — as for instance in basalt, — by the decomposition of 
the olivine. 

The substances which are contained in these vesicular ca- 
vities are generally of subsequent date, and have most pro- 
bably been formed by an extraction of the rock. In some 
agates, this mode of production is almost obviously indicated 
by the structure. The vesicular cavities containing zeolites, 
heavy spar, calcite, phrenite, and copper and quartz, differ 
from those containing agate, in not presenting the point of 
infiltration so characteristic of the latter. This would ap- 
pear to indicate that the substances have been introduced in 
a different manner in the two eases. Thev could not have 

The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 103 

been poured into the cavities at one point, but must have 
been as it were secreted into them. Where the vesicular 
rocks are traversed by lodes, it is probable that mineral sub- 
stances have been transferred from them into the vesicles ; 
thus, at Annaberg (Saxony), metallic bismuth occurs in the 
vesicles of a rock near to a lode bearing cobalt, nickel, and 
bismuth minerals. 

It is, moreover, probable that the segregative attraction of 
homogeneous particles — which has already been alluded to in 
speaking of the formation of pyrites, — may have contributed 
to the formation of minerals in vesicular cavities. 

The green earth so frequently met with in vesicular cavi- 
ties is most likely a product of decomposition, apparently of 
a mica, rich in protoxide of iron. 

When aluminous and non-aluminous zeolites occur to- 
gether, the latter are always the more recent. When non- 
aluminous zeolites are accompanied by calcite, this is the 
more recent. 

Although the varieties of felsite, especially sanidine, occur 
so frequently as essential constituents of amygdaloid rocks, 
no kind of felsite has ever been met with in a vesicular cavity. 
But the most frequent aluminous zeolites contain the consti- 
tuents of felsite plus water, consequently there is great pro- 
bability that they have been formed, in many instances at 
least, by the decomposition of felsites. Indeed, desmin, de- 
cidedly the most recent of these zeolites, has a great crystal- 
lographic analogy to felsite. 

Zeolites have never been found imbedded in a porphyritic 
manner in any undecomposed rock, and this circumstance 
agrees with the view that they have been formed by an ex- 
traction of the rock by water ; for in such case, the new pro- 
ducts could only be deposited in the vesicles or tissures. 

The definite successions of minerals in vesicular cavities 
are the same as those observed upon lodes ; there are, indeed, 
instances of lodes and vesicular cavities occurring in the same 
rock, both containing the same minerals and in the same 
order of succession. 

Among geological phenomena, those presented by lodes 
are probably second to none in interest, both in a scientific 

104 The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 

and practical point of view. As the form and origin of lode 
fissures are treated of in all elementary works on Geognosy, 
they may here be considered as already known. 

The crystallisation of the minerals in lodes has not always 
commenced from the saalbands, but, in some few instances, 
from the middle of the fissure. 

It is a remarkable circumstance that some lodes have no 
out-crop ; and although sometimes this may be owing to a 
subsequent formation of rock above them, there are instances 
in which this view is inadmissible. Moreover, many lodes 
which do crop out gradually increase in thickness downwards. 

It is a well-known fact, that the lodes in one particular 
district have a more or less parallel direction, and those which 
intersect at any angle either do not correspond at all in their 
contents, or less than those which are parallel. 

Upon inquiring into the probable causes by which lode 
fissures have been filled with minerals, it is at the outset 
evident that they must have been very various. When a lode 
contains only the same series of minerals constituting the 
rock traversed by it, this rock is, with few exceptions,* 
the source from which the substance of the lode has been 
derived, — for instance, veins of calcite in limestone. When 
veins of one rock traverse another — basalt in sandstone — 
they are of eruptive origin. However, these are less frequent 
than those which traverse only one kind of rock, in which the 
minerals of the vein or lode either do not occur at all, or only 
in very small proportion. 

The greater number of lodes, and those of the greatest in- 
terest, occur in the older crystalline rocks, and especially in 
those possessing a schistose structure, and consisting of sili- 
cates, generally mixed with quartz. These anhydrous silicates 
are, however, very rare in lodes themselves, while quartz is a 
very frequent and abundant constituent of them. 

Among the anhydrous silicates occurring in lodes bear- 
ing species of the usual ores, the felsites are most rare. A 
few, such as pegmatolite, oligoclase, tetartine, have here and 
there been met with. On the contrary, epidotes, especially 

The occurrence of granite veins in gneiss is such an exceptional instance. 

The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 105 

the green varieties called pistacite, are probably more fre- 
quent in lodes than in rocks. It is likewise remarkable, that 
some anhydrous silicates which occur in the form of lodes are 
never met with as constituents of rocks. Among these are 
axinite (strictly speaking, a silico-borate), the very rare mi- 
neral zygadite. The former has been found forming a lode, 
together with an arsenical pyrites, rich in cobalt, cobalt 
glance, &c, in Chili, Saxony, and Sweden. 

The other anhydrous silicates occurring in lodes are, 

some garnets, pyroxenes, amphiboles, titanites, lievrite, epi- 
dote, beryl, and topaz. 

Certain hydrated silicates are more frequent ; for instance, 
phrenite, datolite (a silico-borate) ; most of the zeolites, many 
of which occur likewise in vesicular cavities ; some micas, 
and a few amorphous mineral substances. 

Silico-borates certainly never occur as constituents of rocks. 
Datolite is the only one which occurs in vesicular cavities. 

The chief part of the mineral species which occur in lodes 
comprises such as are unknown as constituents of rocks, and 
they consist, moreover, of chemical elements which are not 
present in rocks. These remarkable and important facts un- 
questionably indicate: 1. That the minerals contained in 
lodes have not been formed by the extraction of the adjoining 
rock ; 2. That such substances are chiefly present in veins, 
which, at the time of the formation of the rocks, were re- 
tained in the interior of the earth. We are unacquainted 
with any rocks from which it is probable that the sometimes 
enormous lodes of lead, silver, copper, antimony, zinc, arse- 
nic, bismuth, cobalt, and nickel minerals, or even those of 
iron or barium, and the sulphur of the sulphurets, could have 
been derived by such a process of extraction by water. In- 
deed, heavy spar occurs in the Erzgebirge in such frequent 
and large veins that it may constitute no inconsiderable part 
I of the entire mountain range, while we are unacquainted 
with any single mineral in these rocks, which are generallv 
in an undecomposed state, containing baryta. Admitting the 
hypothesis of an original chaotic admixture of the elements 
it may be conjectured that the alkaline minerals were first 
formed, on account of the more ready oxidation of their 

106 The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 

metals, while the heavier metals, existing perhaps chiefly as 
sulphurets, sunk towards the centre. This opinion gains some 
amount of probability, from the high specific gravity of the 
earth (according to Reich, 5*45 ; Baily, 5'66), while the mean 
specific gravity of all rocks is only 2- 75. When, at subse- 
quent periods, fissures were formed in the superficial parts 
of the earth, they might have been filled by eruptive sulphu- 
rets, &c. Most of the metalliferous minerals are or have 
been in the state of sulphurets ; and the old belief of miners, 
that in general lodes are richer the deeper they are worked, 
which has now gained considerable probability upon scienti- 
fic grounds, likewise favours the above view. 

There can be no doubt that sometimes, although rarely, 
the substances present in lodes have at least partly been in- 
troduced from above. Instances are known in which some 
of the chemical constituents of the minerals must have come 
from the surface. For example, the phosphoric acid in pyro- 
morphite, wavellite, kaelaite, &c. There are, however, very 
serious objections to Werner's theory, that all the substances 
present in lodes were introduced from the surface. 

The study of mineral lodes has led to the assumption of 
four different modes of formation : — 

(A.) Congeneration. 

(B.) Lateral Secretion. 

(C.) Ascension ; and 

(D.) Descension. 
The two latter have, however, been the most frequent. It 
is also probable that, in some instances, two or more of these 
modes of action have gone on together. 

Many lodes have, since their formation, suffered alteration 
to such an extent that the substances they contain are all 
products of the decomposition of the original minerals ; and 
sometimes these products demand a special attention. 

B. H. Paul. 

(To be continued.) 


On the Eyeless Animals of the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky. 
(Read before the Royal Physical Society, on exhibiting 
Specimens of the Animals.) By Robert Chambers, Esq., 
F.R.S.E. (Communicated by the Author.) 

The Mammoth Cave of Kentucky is situated on the Green 
River, an affluent of the Ohio, midway between the towns of 
Louisville and Nashville. The country is here composed of 
an elevated plain of the mountain limestone, resting on Devo- 
nian and Silurian rocks. The rivers form trenches in the 
country about 350 feet deep, and the Mammoth Cave is nearly 
the same depth below the surface. It is, as is well known, 
of very great extent, not less, it is said, than ten miles, and is 
composed of a great flexus of galleries — "branching, crossing, 
inosculating in all directions, and at all levels/' — all afford- 
ing a dry footing, and all pervaded by perfectly sweet air. 
Though it is believed that there is but one passage into the 
cave, there is constantly a stream of air coming outwards 
when the temperature of the outer air is above 60° Fahren- 
heit, and a stream going inwards when the outer tempera- 
ture is below that point, apparently a consequence of the call 
for the establishment of an equilibrium between the air-con- 
tents of the cave, which are invariably at 60°, and the outer 
air; from which Professor B. Silliman junior draws the in- 
ference that the space of the excavations must be immense. 

Throughout the cave, even at the distance of several miles 
from the mouth, are rivers and pools of water, which evi- 
dently have some connection with the waters of the outer 
world, as they are clear and palatable, and rise and fall with 
the neighbouring rivers of the outer country, according to the 
drought or wetness of the season. Mr Silliman is clearly of 
opinion that the excavations are the effect of moving water, 
and of no other cause. 

The Mammoth Cave affords a hybernating retreat for vast 
numbers of bats ; but its constant inhabitants are alone en- 
titled to notice. There is a rat of furry coat, bluish in the 
body and white in the throat, possessed of large black eyes. 
Mr Silliman caught two specimens, a male and female, and 
he says of the former that he is satisfied it was entirely blind 

108 Eyeless Animals of the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky, 

when first caught, though after being kept some time in light, 
it appeared gradually to attain some power of vision. There 
are also some insects, " the largest of which is a sort of 
cricket, with enormously long antennee." " Of spiders Dr 
Tellkampf found two eyeless, small, white species, which he 
calls Phalangodes armata and Anthrobia monmouthia ; flies 
of the genus Anthomia, and two blind beetles, Anophthal- 
mias Tellkampfii of Erickson, and Adelops hirtus." There 
are also some infusoria. 

But the most remarkable animals peculiar to the Mam- 
moth Cave are — a crustacean, Astacus pellucidus, and a 
small fish, Amblyopsis Spelams. 

These are the species of which specimens are now before 
the Society, having been sent to me by John Purves, Esq. of 
Kinaldy, Fifeshire, who visited the Mammoth Cave during 
the summer of 1850. 

The signal peculiarity of these animals is their want of 
fully developed organs of vision. Dr Tellkampf and Mr 
Thomson, president of the National History Society of Bel- 
fast, who were among the first to notice the animals of the 
cave, speak of eyes in the Crustacea. Agassiz, on the other 
hand, asserts that this is a mistake. He says : " I have ex- 
amined several species, and satisfied myself that the peduncle 
of the eye only exists, but there are no visible facets at its 
extremity, as in other craw-fish." * These observations ap- 
pear to be fully justified by the specimens now submitted to 
the Society ; for scarcely the faintest trace of an eye can be 
detected in the two Crustacea. M. Agassiz asserts respect- 
ing the fish, that it has not even rudimentary eyes, and 
appears to want even the orbital cavity. — (Agassiz's and 
Gould's Principles of Zoology.) From the circumstance of 
its being viviparous, from the character of its scales, and 
from the forward structure of its head, he considers it an 
aberrant type of his family of Cyprimodonts. There is also, 
however, a second species of fish, " not colourless like the 
first," and having external eyes, but quite blind. Mr Silli- 
man, moreover, mentions an important fact, that the " larger 
eyed and coloured craw-fish which are abundant without the 

* Americ m Journal of Science, &c, vol. ix. No. 31. (Reprinted in Jameson's.) 

Analyses of Fossil Bones of Nebraska. 


cave, are also common in some seasons in the subterranean 
rivers, and so also it is said the fish of the Green River are 
to be found in times of flood in the rivers of the cave." 

In reply to a letter of inquiry from Professor Silliman 
senior, Mr Agassiz made a few remarks on the presumable 
primitive condition of the eyeless animals of the Mammoth 
Cave. He says — " This is one of the most important ques- 
tions to settle in natural history, and I have several years 
ago proposed a plan for investigation, which if well consi- 
dered, would lead to as important results as any series of in- 
vestigations which can be conceived, for it might settle once 
and for ever the question, in what condition and when the ani- 
mals now living on the earth were first called into exis- 
tence.''— {Silliman' 's American Journal, ix., No. 51.) 

Analyses of Fossil Bones of Nebraska. 

The results of the chemical examinations of the bones of 
some of the fossil Mammalia from the tertiary formation of the 
Mauvaises Terres of Nebraska, are interesting and remark- 
able, as shewing the change which they have undergone dur- 
ing the long period of interment. 

Part of Leg-Bone of Oreodon. 

Water of absorption, H = 2 - 70 

Organic Matter burned ) 

JL. . . + . \ = 2-50 

off by ignition, j 

Phosphoric Acid, P =36-77 

Carbonic Acid, = 3-00 

Fluorine, F = 3-20 

Lime, Ca=4893 

Silica, .. Bi= 340 

Trace of Fe and Mn, 


Part of Scapula of Palseotherium. 

Combined with P, 

Ca „ „ C, 

Ca „ „ F, 

Ca „ „ sT(?).. 






Fe Si, insoluble, .... 
Si dissolved by HC 1, 


,. 3-20 


,. 4-20 

. 3-40 

z 34-00 

: 5-35 

r 3-66 

= 0-30 










1 10 Analyses of Fossil Bones of Nebraska. 

It is to be regretted that time did not permit me to repeat 
these analyses on different varieties of specimens, and by 
different methods. However, I am able to furnish another 
analysis, of a compact portion of the tibia of archseotherium, 
carefully freed from all extraneous matter, made with great 
care in Dr Genth's laboratory, and under his immediate 
inspection, by Dr Francis V. Greene, which has resulted 
very satisfactorily, and in which the fluorine was estimated 
by precipitation. . 

Water, H = 197 ; Organic matter, = 4'09 ; Phosphoric acid, 
P = 31-19 ; Silicic acid, Si = 0-26 ; Carbonic acid, C = 2*77 ; Sulphuric 
acid, S = 2-19 ; Fluorine, F = 2*46 ; Chlorine, CI = 0'02 ; Lime, 
Ca = 50*83; Magnesia (with a trace of Mn), Mg = 1*14 ; Baryta, 
Ba = 1*10 ; Potash, K = - 28 ; Soda, Na = 1*57 ; Iron and Alumina, 
a trace. Total, 99 -87. 

These analyses are remarkable : first, in shewing the ex- 
istence of a notable quantity of fluorine amounting to from 
2 to 3 per cent., sufficient to etch glass very distinctly, when 
the bones are treated with strong sulphuric acid, and gently 
heated : second, in proving the existence of from 2 to 4 per 
cent, of the original organic matter, and from 31 to 37 per 
cent, of the phosphate of lime in the bones of animals, which 
have been entombed in these early tertiary deposits ever 
since the Alps first began to lift their heads out of the ocean, 
and in which they have been enclosed the almost inconceiv- 
able length of time that has elapsed during a vast geological 
epoch : in which that great mountain chain of Europe has 
been gradually thrusting its peaks to ten or twelve thousand 
feet above the ocean ; and while the Andes of South America, 
during the same period, have attained probably even a greater 

Reflecting on the origin of the fluorine discovered in these 
Nebraska fossil bones, it becomes a question whether it is 
an original constituent of the bones of the living animal, or 
has been introduced into their composition after death. Since 
the analysis of the bones of existing animals indicates but a 
mere trace of fluorine, it seems more probable that that ele- 
ment has been introduced as fluoride of calcium by infiltration 

J. D. Dana on the Recent Eruption of Mauna Loa. Ill 

during the gradual process of fossilization, after the manner 
of pseudomorphism in minerals, the fluoride of calcium gra- 
dually replacing the organic matter, as transformation pro- 
ceeded, than that it should have been an original constituent 
of the bones of the living animal. Still, the subjoined analyses 
of the enclosing matrix gives no evidence whatever of the 
existence of fluorine in these deposits now. 

If the fluorine has really been derived from these deposits, 
we are forced to the conclusion that it has all been removed 
by the powers of pseudomorphism. May we not, however, 
rather look to the saline waters, now common in that coun- 
try, as the source of the fluorine ; or perhaps, to the waters 
of the lake, bay, or estuary, in which the bones may have 
lain macerating, previous to their long interment ? 

It is worthy also of note that Greene's analysis shews the 
presence of sulphate of baryta in the compact portion of 
the bone he analysed ; and Dr Genth discovered minute 
crystals of sulphate of baryta in the cavities of some of the 
bones by the aid of a stronger magnifier. — (Ovjen's Geolo- 
gical Survey of Winsconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota.) 

Note on the Eruption of Mauna Loa. By James D. Dana. 
(Communicated by the Author.) 

The account of Mauna Loa, by Rev. Titus Coan, together 
with the additional information from letters appended to this 
paper, suggests a few thoughts confirmatory of views men- 
tioned in another place by the writer. 

1. The eruption described, although so vast in its extent, 
commenced with no earthquake — no internal thunderings — 
no premonitions whatever, that were perceptible at the base 
of the mountain. In almost all descriptions of volcanoes, 
these phenomena are set down as essential to the result, 
especially if the eruption be of much extent. Some force is 
supposed, in one way or another, to get beneath the column 
of lava, and by sudden action to eject the lavas with violence, 
amid terrific exhibitions of volcanic power. But in the 
majestic dome of Mauna Loa, where the lavas are carried to 

1 1 2 James D. Dana on the 

a height of 14,000 feet, the outbreak is quiet and noiseless ; 
the mountain opens, the lavas flow. The vivid description 
of Mr Coan, marked as it is with the actual terrors of the 
scene, strikingly sustains these statements. For how unlike 
Vesuvius in her great outbreaks is the Hawaian volcano, 
when the crater, in its intensest eruption, could be approached 
" within forty or fifty yards on the windward side,'' or " with- 
in two miles on the leeward," and the traveller need retire 
but to the distance of " a mile" from tne very scene of eruption 
for his " night vigils." 

2. The mobility of the Hawaian lavas is most remarkably 
exemplified in this eruption. The fiery rock at the crater 
formed literally an open boiling fountain, instead of appear- 
ing in eruptive discharges through a narrow-necked funnel. 
A jet of clear liquid lava shot up in ceaseless flow to a height 
of 300 feet or more, and, with its surrounding jets and falling 
spray, produced, as Mr Fuller says, the effect of a Gothic 
structure of molten metal, with its shafts and pinnacles and 
buttresses, in quick incessant change — now rising into a tall 
spire 700 feet in height, now spreading into more massy forms, 
and ever dazzling the sight with its brilliancy. The scene of 
this display, according to Mr Coan, was 5000 feet below the 
summit outbreak,* and it would actually appear, as he implies, 
that the hydrostatic pressure of the central column of lavas 
in the mountain was the power that kept the jet in action. 
Such a fountain of molten rock is majestic beyond con- 
ception ; and the more wonderful, the more majestic, viewed 
as the effect of simple pressure, with none of the convulsive 
heavings common in other volcanoes. The terrible roar of 
the crater was the sound of the ponderous mass agitated to 
its depths, by the tossing and falling jets and the escape of 
the imprisoned vapours ; it was not enhanced even by the 
occasional shocks of an earthquake. 

3. Kilauea, a crater on the flanks of Mauna Loa, but 
4000 feet above the sea, having its larger diameter 18,000 
feet, or 3£ miles, exhibited at this time no signs of sympathy 
with the summit action. If ever a region had its safety- 

* Seven thousand feet, or half way to the base, acoording to Mr Fuller. 

Recent Eruption of Mauna Loa. 113 

valve, we should say that this immense crater would be such 
to Hawaii. But the lavas rise in the centre of the mountain 
10,000 feet above this vast pit (or nearly 11,000 feet above 
its bottom), without producing the slightest fluctuation in its 
boiling lakes. 

4. From the eruptions of Kilauea in 1823, 1832, and 
1 840, the writer, in tracing out its history, stated that the 
course of changes leading to a new outbreak required eight 
or nine years, this being the interval between the known 
eruptions. The process was shewn to consist in a gradual 
filling up of the great pit for 400 or 500 feet of its depth, 
attended with an increased activity when at this height, and 
followed by a discharge from some fissure or fissures opened 
through the slopes toward the sea. 

But since 1840 thirteen years have passed, and still no 
eruption has been observed. The process has, however, been 
essentially as indicated by the author, although under a new 
modification of its action. The crater did go on filling up at 
its usual rate, so that in 1846 it had already risen to a height 
of 400 feet above the level it had after the eruption of 1840. 
The crater, moreover, was then in violent activity, and the 
black ledge was nearly obliterated ; the bottom continued still 
to rise, and an eruption was speedily expected. But instead 
of an eruption, we learn that in 1848 and 1849, all was nearly 
quiet, excepting a single convulsive heaving in the latter 
year. The lower pit was filled with solid lavas, and the 
great lake became finally the site of a solid dome or cone. 

It is however altogether probable, from the retreat of the 
liquid lavas and the disappearance of the fires, that a dis- 
charge actually took place at the time expected, but beneath 
the sea. Such a discharge occurring in the usual quiet way, 
might be unperceived by the inhabitants of the island. The 
outflow of lavas, however, must have been but a partial one ; 
and, consequently, the bottom of Kilauea, instead of sub- 
siding, as the lavas retreated. 400 feet (as commonly hap- 
pens), retained its place. 

Five years have now passed, and the fires, as Mr Coan 
states, are again breaking out. This is a further confirmation 
of our view. The process of elevation in the liquid internal 

VOL. LV. NO. C1X. — JULY 1853. 11 

U-t James D. Dana on the 

lavas has evidently been going on, as after previous eruptions, 
although out of sight, deep beneath the solid rock that forms 
the bottom of Kilauea ; and they have again reached a height 
that enables them to be distinguished. The mode of progress 
and of eruption may therefore correspond throughout with 
the views presented by the author in his Exploring Expedition, 
Geological Report, and American Journal, vol. ix., 347. Yet 
it is also possible that the fires of Kilauea are dying out, and 
that thus the change of condition is to be explained. 

Although the discharges at the summit of MaunaLoa pro- 
duce no oscillations in the lavas of Kilauea, it may still be 
possible that the increased activity at the summit, and the di- 
minished action of the flank crater, during the past few years. 
may be connected with the same changes below. These 
changes may consist in some variations in the distribution 
of the heat, or, more probably, in a variation of size or direc- 
tion in the openings or channels that serve to supply the 
water which feeds the fires. 

5. If Kilauea were to become extinct in its present con- 
dition, no evidence would exist of its former depth, or of the 
black ledge or shelf which has been so remarkable a feature 
in this crater. The present depth does not exceed 600 feet 
— 400 feet less than after the eruption of 1840.* Moreover, 
as the precipitous rocky walls are wholly free from scoriae 
and all other signs of recent fires (looking much like bluffs 
of ordinary stratified rock), there is no evidence as to the 
great eruptions that have taken place, and only signs of a 
sort of Solfatara action, without flows of lava over the bot- 
tom of the confined area. These facts bear on the conclu- 
sions that might be deduced from the existing features of 
extinct volcanoes. 

6. Mr Coan speaks of the lavas as flowing from an orifice 
in a broad stream down the mountain. It is probable that 
fissures opening to the fires below were continued at intervals 
along the course of the eruption, and that these afforded 
accessions to the fiery flood. Such was the case in 1840, 
and the three tufa hills at Nanawale, on the sea-coast, mark 

■•' : The centra] portions of ihe crater are much more raised than the lateral, 
:■ them the depth cannot exceed 500 feet. 

Recent Eruption of Manna Loa. 115 

the positions where these opened fissures reached the sea. 
Any internal force sufficient to break through the sides of a 
mountain like Mauna Loa, must necessarily produce a linear 
fissure, or a series of fissures, and not a single tunnel-like 

7. We have yet received no definite facts as to the angle 
of slope down which the lavas descended. Yet we do know 
that in this and in a former eruption the stream continued 
over the declivities for thirty miles, and these declivities 
have an average angle of six or seven degrees, though made 
up of subordinate slopes varying probably between one and 
twenty degrees, as Mr Coan mentions, when describing the 
descent of the lavas in the summit eruptions of 1843. The 
slopes of Mauna Loa, although the mountain is over 14,000 
feet high, are therefore not too steep to receive accessions 
from top to bottom, from eruptions of vast extent over its 
sides. With such facts, in connection with others brought 
forward by the writer, we are assuredly sustained in not ad- 
mitting the universal application of the so-called elevation 
theory. But in rejecting this theory, we do not go to the 
opposite extreme, and adopt in its full extent the overflow 
theory. The truth, as usual, lies between the two extremes, 
as the writer has elsewhere urged. Both causes have acted 
in the history of all volcanoes ; both act from the very com- 
mencement of the germ-cone. There is elevation from the 
central action, from the opening and filling of fissures about 
the centre, and also from the outflow of lavas. The first of 
these operations may be most effective in the earlier periods 
of the rising mountain ; but each continues to act till the fires 
die out; and in the later periods, especially, there is often a 
flattening process, arising from the spread of lavas ejected 
from fissures about the base of the mountain, which extend 
the shores, and diminish the angle of slope. 

8. The interval of time between the last three erup- 
tions of the central crater of Mauna Loa is from nine to ten 
and a half years. The first of these three took place in June 
1832; the second in January 1843; the third in February 
1852. The recorded eruptions of Kilauea have occurred 
as follows, leaving out that of 1789 : the first in 1823, the 

n 2 

116 James I). Dana on the 

second in 1832, the third in 1840, probably a fourth through 
a submarine or subterranean vent in 1847 or 1848. and the 
fires are now increasing again in activity. In 1832 there 
were thus eruptions from both of these extensive craters of 
Ma-una Loa. 

We annex additional notes on the eruption, from different 
sources. The account of the whirlwinds produced by the 
crater are of much meteorological interest. 

1. From a Letter of II. Kinney, dated Waiohinu, Hawaii, 
April 19, 1852 (published in " The Pacific," San Francisco, 
of June 18). 

The light of the volcano at night was very great — illumi- 
nating the surrounding country for many miles distant, and 
giving to the overhanging clouds the appearance of an im- 
mense body of fire. After witnessing this for several nights, 
my desire to visit it became so strong, that I resolved to make 
the long and tedious journey, to take a near view of this grand 
display of the Almighty's power. Accompanied by Mr Fuller, 
I set out on the 1st day of March. After travelling through 
woods and over wide districts of naked lava, we arrived at the 
vicinity of the eruption on the forenoon of the third day. Its 
deep, unearthly roar, which we began to hear early on the 
day before, " waxed louder and louder," as we drew nearer 
and nearer the action, until it resembled the roar of the 
ocean's billows when driven by the force of a hurricane against 
a rock-bound coast, or like the deafening roar of Niagara. 

We first reached the deep channel, through which a wide 
stream of liquid lava had flowed down the mountain, deso- 
lating an area of vast extent ; it had ceased to flow in this 
direction, but was flowing still at a little distance, where we 
gazed with delight. The main stream was still beyond, 
which we could not approach, on account of the great heat ; 
but at night we had a fine view of the fiery river, at no great 
distance from our encampment. Though the lava gushed 
out in several places like water-springs, yet the main fountain 
was one of indescribable grandeur. In the midst of a form- 
ing cone, with a base of 200 or 300 feet, there shot up a jet 

Recent Eruption of Mauna Loa. 117 

of clear liquid lava to the height of from 400 to 800 feet, 
combining in its ascent and descent all the beauties of the 
finest water fountains — jet after jet ascended in constant and 
regular succession, day after day ; descending, it mostly fell 
back into the crater, but sometimes it fell spattering on its 
sides, and flowed down, uniting with the main stream. The 
outer portions cooled to a blackened mass while in the air ; 
the upper and lighter portions were carried by the propelling 
force to the regions of the clouds, and fell in showers over 
the surrounding country. 

The intense heat of the fountain and stream of lava, caused 
an influx of cool air from every quarter ; this created terrific 
whirlwinds, which constantly stalking about, like so many 
sentinels, bade defiance to the daring visitor. These were 
the most dangerous of any thing about the volcano. Some- 
times we were compelled to prostrate ourselves for safety. 
Once we ventured within about a quarter of a mile of the 
great jet ; soon one of the most terrific whirlwinds formed at 
the crater, and advanced straight towards us, threatening 
us with instant ruin ; but fortunately for us, it spent its 
force and turned to the right, leaving us to make a rapid 

We saw a similar one whirling around the jet, and conceal- 
ing it with a dense cloud of ashes, as if engaged in a furious 
combat. The two contending elements presented a most 
wonderful spectacle. When the strife ceased, the fountain 
appeared in constant action, as though nothing had occurred. 
Clouds approaching the volcano were driven back, and set, 
moving in wild confusion. 

The glare of the liquid fountain was very great, even when 
the sun was shining; but at night it was vastly more so, 
casting the light of nearly a full moon in the shade, and 
turning night into day. 

2. From a Letter by Mr Fuller, dated Waiohinu, March 28. 

There played a fountain of liquid fire of such dimensions 
and such awful sublimity, shaking the earth with such a con- 
stant and deafening roar, that no picture of the classic 
realms of Pluto, drawn by Grecian or Roman hand, can give 

118 J. D. Dana on the Recent Eruption of Mauna Loa. 

you any adequate conception of its grandeur, A few figures 
may assist your imagination in its attempts to paint the 
scene. I made the following calculations, after careful ob- 
servations during nearly twenty-four hours, from different 
points within a mile of the crater, and, after deliberate dis- 
cussion with Mr Kinney and companion, with different 
objects around U3. Some of these calculations have been 
confirmed by a somewhat accurate measurement by Mr 
Lyman, of Hilo. 

The diameter of the crater, which has been entirely formed 
by this eruption is about 1000 feet, its height from 100 to 
150 feet. One part of the crater was raised 50 feet during 
our presence on the spot. The height of the column of red- 
hot liquid lava, constantly sustained above the crater, varies 
from 200 to 700 feet, seldom falling below 300. Its diameter 
is from 100 to 300 feet, and rarely perhaps reaching 400 
feet. The motions of this immense jet of fire were beautiful 
in the extreme, far surpassing all the possible beauties of 
any water fountain which can be conceived ; constantly vary- 
ing in form, in dimensions, in colour and intensity ; some- 
times shooting up and tapering off like a symmetrical Gothic 
spire, 700 feet high; then rising in one grand mass, 300 
feet in diameter, and varied on the top and sides by points 
and jets, like the ornaments of Gothic architecture. The 
New Yorker, who, as he gazes on the beautiful spire of 
Trinity Church, can imagine its dimensions increased three- 
fold, and its substance converted into red-hot lava, m constant 
agitation, may obtain a tolerable idea of one aspect of this 
terrific fire fountain. But he should stand at the foot of the 
Niagara Falls, or on the rocky shore of the Atlantic when 
the sea is lashed by a tempest, in order to get the most 
terrific element in this sublime composition of the Great 
Artist. For you may easily conjecture that the dynamical 
force necessary to raise 200,000 to 500,000 tons of lava at 
once into the air would not be silent in its operation. 

The eruption of which I have written broke out on the 
morning of the 18th February, at about 3 o'clock, and con- 
tinued twenty days. The crater is situated on the base of 
Mauna Loa, about 35 miles from Hilo, and 25 from the old 

Mam moth Cave of Ken tuchy . 119 

crater of Kilauea. Its height above the sea is about 7000 
feet. It has formed a stream, winding down the mountain 
side, with several branches 30 or 40 miles long, from one- 
fourth to two miles broad, having a depth, in some places, of 
200 or 300 feet. 

Mammoth Cave of Kentucky. 
[We extract the following graphic account of the Mam- 
moth Cave of Kentucky from Professor J. D. B. De Bow's 
" Industrial Resources, &c. of the Southern and Western 
American States. 1 '] 

In Edmonson County is that extraordinary curiosity, the 
Mammoth Cave. It is situated midway between Louisville 
and Nashville, and is a fashionable place of resort. The 
cave is approached through a romantic shade. At the en- 
trance is a rush of cold air. A descent of thirty feet by stone 
steps, and an advance of one hundred feet inwards, brings 
the visitor to the door, in a solid stone wall which blocks up 
the entrance of the cave. A narrow passage leads to the 
great vestibule or antechamber, an oval hall, 200 by 150 
feet, and 50 feet high. Two passages of 100 feet width 
open into it, and the whole is supported without a single 
column. This chamber was used by the races of yore as a 
cemetery, judging from the bones of gigantic size which are 

" Far up, a hundred feet above your head, you catch a 
fitful glimpse of a dark gray ceiling rolling dimly away like 
a cloud, and heavy buttresses, apparently bending under the 
superincumbent weight, project their enormous masses from 
the shadowy wall. The scene is vast, solemn, and awful. 
A profound silence, gloomy, still, and breathless, reigns un- 
broken by even a sigh of air, or the echo of a drop of water 
falling from the roof. You can hear the throbbings of your 
heart, and the mind is oppressed with a sense of vastness, 
and solitude, and grandeur undescribable." In Audubon 
Avenue, leading from the hall, is a deep well of pure spring 
water. It is surrounded by stalagmite columns from the 
floor to the roof. The Little Bat Room contains a pit 280 

120 Mammoth ("ace of Kentucky. 

feet deep, and is the resort of myriads of bats. The Grand 
Gallery is a vast tunnel many miles long, and fifty feet high, 
and as wide. At the end of the first quarter of a mile is 
found the Kentucky Cliffs and the Church, 100 feet in dia- 
meter, and 63 feet high. A natural pulpit and organ-loft 
are not wanting. " In this great high temple of nature, re- 
ligious service has been frequently performed, and it requires 
but a slight effort to make the speaker heard." The Gothic 
Avenue is reached by a flight of stairs, and is forty feet wide, 
fifteen high, and two miles long. The ceiling is smooth and 
white. Mummies have been discovered here, which have been 
a subject of curious study to science. In the Gothic Avenue 
are stalagmites, stalactites, also Louisa's Bower and Vulcan s 
Furnace. On the walls of the Register Rooms are inscribed 
thousands of names. The Gothic Chapel is " one of sur- 
prising grandeur and magnificence : and when brilliantly 
lighted up by the lamps, presents a scene inspiring the be- 
holder with feelings of solemnity and awe." At the foot of 
the DeviVs Arm Chair is a small basin of sulphur water. 
Here we have Napoleon's Breastwork, the Elephant's Head, 
Lover's Leap, Gatewood's Dining Table, and the Cooling Tub 
— a basin six feet wide and three deep of the purest water, 
Napoleon's Dome, &c. 

The Ball Room contains an orchestra fifteen feet high ; 
near by is a row of cabins for consumptive patients, the 
atmosphere being always temperate and pure. The Star 
Chamber presents an optical illusion. " In looking up to 
the ceiling, the spectator seems to see the firmament itself 
studded with stars, and afar off a comet with bright tail." 
We pass over the Salts Rooms, Black Chambers, Fairy 
Grotto, §•£., and come to the Temple. 

" The temple is an immense vault, covering an area of two 
acres, and covered by a single dome of solid rock, one hun- 
dred and twenty feet high. It exceeds in size the cave of 
Staffa, and rivals the celebrated vault in the grotto of Anti- 
paros, which is said to be the largest in the world. In pass- 
ing through, from one end to the other, the dome appears to 
follow the sky, as in passing from place to place on the 
e irth. In the middle of the dome there is a lar^e mound of 

Mammoth Cave of Kentucky. 121 

rocks rising on one side nearly to the top, very steep, and 
forming what is called the mountain. When I first ascended 
this mound from the cave below, I was struck with a feeling 
of awe more intense and deep than any thing I had ever 
before experienced. I could only observe the narrow circle 
which was illuminated immediately around me ; above and 
beyond was apparently an unlimited space, in which the ear 
could not catch the slightest sound, nor the eye find an ob- 
ject to fasten upon. It was filled with silence and darkness ; 
and yet I knew that I was beneath the earth, and that this 
space, however large it might be, was externally bounded by 
solid walls. My curiosity was rather excited than gratified. 
In order that I might see the whole in one connected view, I 
built my fires in many places of cane, which I found scattered 
among the rocks. Then, taking my stand upon the mountain, a 
scene was presented of surprising magnificence. On the op- 
posite side, the strata of gray limestone breaking up by steps 
from the bottom, could scarcely be discerned in the distance 
by the glimmering. Above was the lofty dome, closed at the 
top by a smooth oval slab, beautifully defined in the outline, 
from which the walls slope away on the right and left into 
thick darkness. Every one has heard of the dome of the 
Mosque of St Sophia, of St Peter's, and St Paul's ; they are 
never spoken of but in terms of admiration as the chief works 
of architecture, and among the noblest and most stupendous 
examples of what men can can do when aided by science ; 
and yet when compared with the dome of this temple, they 
sink into comparative insignificance." 

The River Hall descends like the slope of a mountain ; 
the ceiling stretches away, away before you, vast and grand 
as the firmament at midnight. Proceeding a short distance, 
there is on the left a steep precipice, over which you can look 
down by the aid of blazing missiles upon a broad, black sheet 
of water, eighty feet below, called the Dead Sea. This is an 
awfully impressive place, the sights and sounds of which do 
not easily pass from memory. He who has seen it, will 
have it vividly brought before him by Alfieri's description of 
Filippo. Only a transient word or act gives us a short and 
dubious glimmer that reveals to us the abysses of his being 

1~2 Mammoth Gave of Kentucky, 

daring, lurid, and terrific as the throat of the infernal pool. 
Descending from the eminence by a ladder of about twenty 
feet, we find ourselves among piles of gigantic rocks ; and 
one of the most picturesque sights in the world is to see a 
file of men and women passing along these wild and scraggy 
paths, moving slowly — slowly, that their lamps may have 
time to illuminate their sky-like ceiling and gigantic walls, 
disappearing behind high cliffs — sinking into ravines — their 
lights shining upward through fissures in the rocks — then, 
suddenly emerging from some abrupt angle, standing in the 
bright gleam of their lights, relieved by the towering black 
masses around them. As you pass along, you hear the roar 
of invisible waterfalls ; and at the foot of the slope, the 
River Styx lies before you, deep and black, overarched with 
rocks. Across, or rather down, these unearthly waters, the 
guide can convey but four passengers at once. The lamps 
are fastened to the prow, the images of which are reflected 
in the dismal pool. If you are impatient of delay or eager 
for new adventure, you can leave your companions lingering 
about the shore, and cross the Styx by a dangerous bridge 
of precipices overhead. In order to do this, you must ascend 
a steep cliff and enter a cave above, over three hundred yards 
long, from the egress of which you find yourself on the bank 
of the river, eighty feet above its surface, commanding a view 
of those in the boat, and those waiting on the shore. Seen 
from the heights, the lamps in the canoe glare like fiery eye- 
balls ; and the passengers sitting there, so hushed and mo- 
tionless, look like shadows. The scene is so strangely 
funereal and spectral, that it seems as if the Greeks must 
have witnessed it before they imagined Charon conveying 
ghosts to the dim regions of Pluto. 

The Mammoth Cave is said to be explored to the distance 
of ten miles, without reaching its termination, whilst the 
aggregate width of all the branches is over forty miles ! 
Next to Niagara, it is the wonder of nature in the Western 
World, or perhaps throughout all her domains. 


On the Annual Variation of the Atmospheric Pressure in 
different parts of the Globe. By Professor H. W. Dove 
of Berlin.* Communicated by Colonel Sabine. 

The establishment of meteorological stations in distant 
parts of the globe had, generally speaking, for its immediate 
object, so to complete the partial knowledge we already 
possessed of the phenomena over a considerable portion of its 
surface, as to enable us to take a general view of their course 
over the whole globe. The result of those endeavours has 
even exceeded what was hoped for, as besides the informa- 
tion obtained respecting regions where our knowledge was 
most defective, fresh light has been thrown on those with which 
we had supposed ourselves already completely acquainted. 

Meteorology commenced with us by the study of European 
phenomena, and its next principal extension was to pheno- 
mena observed in the tropical parts of America. If what is 
true of Europe were equally true of the temperate and cold 
zones of the earth in all longitudes, and if tropical America 
in like manner afforded a perfect example of the tropical 
zone generally, it would be of little consequence where the 
science of Meteorology had been first cultivated ; but this is 
not the case, and a too hasty generalisation has led to the 
neglect of important problems, while others less important 
have been regarded as essential and placed in the foremost 
rank. It was necessary that the science should be freed 
from these youthful trammels, and this needful enfranchise- 
ment has been effected by the Russian and by the English 
system of observations. Russia has done her part in free- 
ing the meteorology of the temperate and cold zones from 
impressions derived exclusively from the limited European 
type ; and England, which by its Indian stations had under- 
taken for the torrid zone the same task of enlarging and rec- 
tifying the views previously entertained, has besides, by its 
African and Australian stations (Cape of Good Hope and 
Hobarton), opened to us the southern hemisphere, and first 

* From the Introduction to the 3d vol. of the Magnetical and Meteorological 
Observations at Hobarton, in Van Diemen's Island. 

121 Annual Variation of Atmospheric Pressure 

rendered it possible to treat of the atmosphere as a whole. 
I will now endeavour to shew the importance of being en- 
abled to take such general views, selecting as an example the 
annual variation of the barometer. 

The study of the annual barometric variation had long been 
singularly neglected, while the diurnal barometric variation 
had had devoted to it an attention quite disproportioned to 
its subordinate interest in reference to the general move- 
ments of the atmosphere. This otherwise incomprehensible 
mistake is excused by the localities where nature had been 
first interrogated. As the diurnal variation had manifested 
itself with great distinctness and regularity in tropical 
America, it naturally presented itself as an object of interest 
in Europe also. The annual variation, on the other hand, is 
inconsiderable, both in Europe and the tropical parts of 
America; and thus, while atmospheric phenomena were 
treated simply as facts of which the periodicity alone was to 
be investigated, without seeking for physical causes, it was 
natural that a phenomenon, in which opposite effects result- 
ing from two different causes counterbalance each other, 
should altogether escape notice. It is, perhaps, more re- 
markable that no surprise should have been excited when 
the atmospheric pressure was not found to diminish from 
winter to summer with increasing heat. 

When, by the labours of Prinsep more particularly, the 
phenomena of the tropical atmosphere in Hindostan became 
more known, there was seen to be a great difference between 
the barometric variation there and in tropical America ; in- 
asmuch as the Indian observations shewed a decidedly well- 
marked annual variation. A new error was now fallen in- 
to, and it was supposed that the phenomenon did not extend 
beyond the torrid zone, and that it was an immediate conse- 
quence of the periodical change of wind, i. e. of the monsoons. 
This erroneous view was completely refuted when the baro- 
metric relations at the Siberian stations became known ; for 
it was then found that, north of the Himalaya (which in the 
supposed hypothesis must have formed the limit of the phe- 
nomenon), the annual barometric variation was exhibited on 
a large scale, and over a region so extensive that the shores 

in different parts of the Globe. 125 

of the Icy Sea itself could hardly be assumed as its boundary. 
A greatly diminished atmospheric pressure taking place in 
summer over the whole continent of Asia must produce an 
influx from all surrounding parts ; and thus we have west 
winds in Europe, north winds in the Icy Sea, east winds on 
the east coasts of Asia, and south winds in India. The mon- 
soon itself becomes, as we see, in this point of view, only a 
secondary or subordinate phenomenon. 

I have endeavoured to establish the reality of the above 
phenomenon and its climatological bearings, in several 
memoirs ; and I must refer for the numerical values to 
Poggendorff's " Annalen," lviii., p. 117 ; lxxvii., p. 309 ; and 
to the " Berichte" of the Berlin Academy, 1852, p. 285. 
I will here embody the results in distinct propositions, in 
order to shew, in connection therewith, the importance of the 
bearing of the Hobarton observations. 

1. At all stations of observation in the torrid and tempe- 
rate zones, the elasticity of the aqueous vapour contained in 
the atmosphere increases with increasing temperature. In 
the region of the monsoons this increase from the colder to 
the warmer months is greatest near their northern limit. 
Hindostan and China present in this respect the most exces- 
sive climate. No differences of similar magnitude are found 
in the southern hemisphere. The form of the curve of elas- 
ticity of the aqueous vapour shews, however, a less decidedly 
convex summit in the region of the monsoons than beyond 
it, having in that region rather the character of a flattened 
summit or table-land, the elasticity continuing nearly the 
same throughout the period of the rainy monsoon. Near 
the equator the convex curve of the northern hemisphere 
becomes gradually, first flattened, and then transformed into 
the concave curve of the southern hemisphere. In the 
Atlantic this transition takes place in a rather more northerly 
parallel. In regard to the magnitude of the annual varia- 
tion, the following rule appears generally applicable in the 
torrid zone ; the annual variation is considerable at all 
places where equatorial currents prevail when the sun's alti- 
tude is greatest, and polar currents when the sun's altitude 
is least; and inconsiderable, wherever the direction of the 

126 Annual Variation of Atmospheric Pressure 

wind is either comparatively constant throughout the year, 
or where it changes in the contrary sense to that above de- 
scribed. At the last-named class of places the rate of de- 
crease in the mean annual tension of the aqueous vapour 
with increasing distance from the equator is more rapid than 
in the first class. 

2. At all stations in Europe and Asia, the pressure of the 
dry air decreases from the colder to the warmer months, 
and everywhere in the temperate zone has its minimum in 
the warmest month. 

3. If we compare the annual variation of the pressure of 
the dry air in Northern Asia and Hindostan with the varia- 
tion in Australia and the Indian Ocean, we shall be satisfied 
that something more takes place than a simple periodical 
exchange of the same mass of air in the direction of the 
meridian, between the northern and southern hemispheres. 
From the magnitude of the variation in the northern hemi- 
sphere, and the extent of the region over which it prevails, 
we must infer that at the time of diminished pressure a 
lateral overflow probably takes place ; that it actually does 
so may be considered as proved for the northern part of the 
region, by the fact that at Sitka, on the north-west coast of 
America, the pressure of the dry air increases from winter 
to summer. It is not probable that the overflow takes place 
exclusively to the east, it probably occurs also to the west ; 
and on this supposition the small amount of the diminution 
of the pressure of the dry air from winter to summer in 
Europe would be caused, not solely by the moderate amount 
of the difference of temperature in the hotter and colder 
seasons, but also by the lateral afflux of air in the upper 
regions of the atmosphere tending to compensate the pres- 
sure lost by thermic expansion. As at the northern limit of 
the monsoon, at Chusan and Pekin, the annual variation of 
the pressure of the dry air is most considerable, while at the 
northern limit of the trade-wind in the Atlantic Ocean, i. e. 
at Madeira and the Azores, it is very small, it is probable 
that there is in the torrid zone also a lateral overflow in the 
upper strati < f the atmosphere, from the region of the mon- 
soons to that of the trades. 

in different parts of the Globe. 127 

4. From the combined action of the variations of the aqueous 
vapour and of the dry air, we now derive immediately the 
periodical variations of the whole atmospheric pressure. As 
the dry air and the aqueous vapour mixed with it press in com- 
mon on the barometer, so that the upborne column of mercury 
consists of two parts, one borne by the dry air. the other by 
the aqueous vapour, we may well understand that as with 
increasing temperature the air expands, and by reason of its 
augmented volume rises higher, and at its upper portion 
overflows laterally, — while, at the same time, the increased 
temperature causes increasing evaporation, and thus augments 
the quantity of aqueous vapour in the atmosphere, — so it 
naturally follows that the composite result in the periodical 
variations of the barometric pressure should not everywhere 
bear a simple and immediately obvious relation to the 
periodical changes of temperature. It is only when we know 
the relative preportions of the two variations which take 
place in opposite directions, that we can determine whether 
their joint effect will be an increase or a decrease with in- 
creasing temperature, — whether in part of the period the one 
variation may preponderate, and in other parts the other 
variation. The following are the results which we are 
enabled to derive from observation. 

5. Throughout Asia the increase in the elasticity of the 
aqueous vapour with increasing heat is never sufficient to 
compensate the diminished pressure of the dry air ; and the 
annual variation of barometric pressure is therefore every- 
where represented, in accordance with the variation of the 
pressure of the dry air, by a simple concave curve having its 
lowest part or minimum in July. The observations in Taimyr 
Land, at Iakoutsk, Udskoi, and Aiansk, shew that this is true 
up to the Icy Sea on the north, and to the sea of Ochotsk on 
the east. On the west a tendency towards these conditions 
begins to be perceived in European Russia in the meridian 
of St Petersburg, and becomes more marked as the range 
of the Ural is approached. On the Caspian and in the Cau- 
casus the phenomenon is already very distinctly marked ; its 
limit runs south from the western shore of the Black Sea, so 
that Syria, Egypt, and Abyssinia, fall within the region over 

128 Annual Variation of Atmospheric Pressure 

which it prevails. Towards the confines of Europe there is 
almost everywhere a maximum in September or October, 
the barometric pressure increasing rapidly from July to the 
autumn. This maximum is followed towards the latter part 
of the autumn by a slighter inflection or secondary minimum ; 
it is only beyond the Ural that the curves become uniformly 
concave, with a single summer minimum and winter maxi- 
mum, which character they retain throughout the rest of the 
Asiatic continent, even to its eastern coast. In winter, the 
absolute height of the barometer at the northern limit of i^he 
monsoon is very great. The still considerable amount of the 
annual variation at Nangasaki, and the little difference 
between the curve of Manilla and that of Madras, shew that 
the region in question extends beyond the eastern coast of 
Asia into the Pacific Ocean ; in higher latitudes, hewever, 
its limits appear to be reached in Kamtschatka. As the an- 
nual variation which is greater at Madras than at Manilla is 
found greater at Aden than at Madras, the western limit of 
the region would appear to extend far on the African side. 

6. In middle and western Europe the barometric pressure 
appears to decrease everywhere from the month of January 
to the spring, usually attaining a minimum in April ; it then 
rises slowly but steadily to September, and sinks rapidly 
to November, when it usually reaches a second minimum. 
In summer, therefore, the whole atmospheric pressure gains 
more by increased evaporation than it loses by expansion. 
This over- compensation is probably, as we have seen above, 
to be explained by the lateral overflow received in the upper 
regions from Asia. In Sitka the whole annual curve is con- 
vex, a result only found in Europe at considerable mountain 
elevations, where it is a consequence of the expansion, and 
extension upwards, of the whole mass of the atmosphere in 

7. The region of great annual barometric variation, on the 
Asiatic side of the globe, where monsoons prevail, extends 
much farther to the north in the northern hemisphere, than 
it does to the south in the southern hemisphere ; for the 
variation reaches its maximum at Pekin, while at Hobarton, 
in nearly a corresponding latitude, it has already become in- 

in different parts of the Globe. 129 

considerable ; and it is generally greater in the northern 
than in the corresponding southern latitudes. The exact 
contrary is the case on the Atlantic side and in the region 
of the Trades ; for here the annual variation, though no- 
where very considerable, is decidedly greater in the southern 
than in the northern hemisphere, as is shewn by the results 
of observation at -the Cape, Ascension, St Helena, Rio 
Janeiro, and Pernambuco, compared with the West Indian 
Islands and the southern parts of the United States. Hence 
it follows that, if we compare places in the same latitude, 
we find but little difference between the annual variation in 
the southern Atlantic and southern Indian oceans, while in 
the northern hemisphere we have in the same latitude the 
very large annual variation in the north part of the Indian 
and in the Chinese seas, and the almost entire absence of 
annual variation in the Atlantic (compare Chusan with the 
Azores and Madeira). The explanation of the last-named 
phenomenon, i. e. that of the northern hemisphere, by a 
lateral overflow in the upper parts of the atmosphere, seems 
so direct, that I think we may pronounce the irregular form 
of the annual barometric curve in the West Indies to be a 
secondary phenomenon, the primary causes of which must 
be looked for on the east . 

8. It is known that in the eruption of the Coseguina on the 
20th of January 1835, when the isthmus of Central America 
was shaken by an earthquake, not only were the volcanic 
ashes carried to Kingston in Jamaica, a distance of 800 
English miles in the opposite direction to the trade-wind, but 
some of the same ashes fell 700 miles to the westward, on 
board the Conway, in the Pacific Ocean. We infer, therefore, 
that in the higher regions of the atmosphere in the tropics 
the air is not always flowing regularly from SW. to NE., 
but that this usual and regular direction is sometimes inter- 
rupted by currents from east to west. I think I have 
indicated the probable cause of such anomalous currents in 
the above described barometric relations of the region of the 
monsoons compared with that of the trades. If we suppose 
the upper portions of the air ascending over Asia and Africa to 
flow off laterally, and if this takes place suddenly, it checks the 

VOL. LV. NO. CIX. — JULY 1853. 1 

130 Annual Variation of Atmospheric Pressure. 

course of the upper or counter current above the trade-wind, 
and breaks into the lower current. An east wind coming 
into a SW. current must necessarily occasion a rotatory 
movement, turning in the opposite direction to the hands of 
a watch. A rotatory storm moving from SE. to NW. in the 
lower current or trade would, in this view, be the result of the 
encounter of two masses of air impelled towards each other 
at many places in succession, the further course of the rota- 
tion (originating primarily in this manner) being that de- 
scribed by me in detail in a memoir on " the Law of Storms,'' 
translated in the Scientific Memoirs, vol. iii., art. viii. 
Thus it happens that the West India hurricanes and the 
Chinese typhoons occur near lateral confines on either side of 
the great region of atmospheric expansion ; the typhoons being 
probably occasioned by the direct pressure of the air from the 
region of the trade-winds over the Pacific into the more 
expanded air of the monsoons region, and being distinct from 
the storms appropriately called by the Portuguese "Tem- 
porals," which accompany the outburst of the monsoon when 
the direction of the wind is reserved. The fact of the 
rotatory storms being of much more rare occurrence in the 
South Atlantic Ocean arises from the more equal distribution 
of the periodically diminished atmospheric pressure in the 
southern as compared with the northern hemisphere. Here, 
therefore, the rotatory storms take place principally in the 
monsoon itself. 

9. It is evident that the unsymmetrical distribution of land 
and sea, which gives rise to the abnormal variations in the 
forms of the isothermal lines, is at the same time the principal 
cause of the movements of the atmosphere. Thus the mon- 
soon is but a modification of the trade-wind, of which the 
cause is to be sought in part beyond the tropic. The region 
of great thermic expansion of the air in summer in the 
interior of the continent of the Old World presents all the 
characteristic marks of the region of calms, being a centre 
towards which all adjacent masses of air are drawn. Hence 
there is no complete sub-tropical zone, in the sense of a zone 
encompassing the globe. The region over which the heated 
air ascends does not therefore move up and down, or north 

Determination of Copper and Nickel. 131 

and south, parallel with the sun's change of declination, but 
has rather a kind of oscillatory movement, in which the West 
Indies represent the fixed point ; and the greatest amplitude 
of oscillation is on the side of India. The northern excursion 
is much greater in the northern hemisphere than is the 
southern excursion on the side of the southern hemisphere. 
The European atmospheric relations, especially in summer, 
are therefore essentially of a secondary nature ; and we must 
regard the little alteration in the atmospheric pressure in the 
course of the year in Europe as a secondary result, of which 
the explanation would not have been possible without the 
observations from Asia and Australia. 

H. W. Dove. 

Berlin, January 5, 1853. 

On the Determination of Copper and Nickel in quantita- 
tive analysis. By David Forbes, F.G.S., Ass. Inst. C.E., 
Espedalen, Norway. Communicated by the Author through 
Dr George Wilson, F.R.S.E., &c. 

Although the determination of these metals by the present 
methods, when properly conducted, must be considered quite 
accurate, still they are tedious, and are likewise attended 
with several sources of error, so as to render it desirable to 
endeavour by some simpler process to shorten the manipula- 
tion generally employed, as well as, if possible, to diminish 
the chances of incorrectness. 

Both copper and nickel are usually weighed in the state of 
oxide procured by precipitating their respective solutions by 
potash. This precipitation, if not conducted with great care, 
is liable to errors so considerable as completely to vitiate 
the results obtained, from the tendency which potash has to 
precipitate basic salts ; so that the precipitate produced is 
not the oxide itself, but a compound of the oxide with potash, 
generally retaining in addition some of the solvent acid. 

This compound, in the case of nickel and copper, is however 
decomposable by boiling water, and this property affords the 
means of obtaining the oxides in a pure state previous to 
ignition ; it is however evident that some risk always exists 
of a portion not being perfectly decomposed by this washing, 


132 D. Forbes, Esq., on the Determination of 

which should be conducted at a boiling temperature, and car- 
ried on without intermission until concluded. In cases where 
even a very small amount of organic matter* is present, either 
in the solution, or, as frequently happens, in the potash em- 
ployed, the precipitation is not complete, or rather a portion 
of the oxide is retained, dissolved in the solution, and is not 
precipitated by the further addition of potash. 

Another objection also is, that when igniting the oxide a 
portion of it may be reduced by the carbonaceous matter of 
the filter ; this can, however, be readily obviated, either by 
prolonged ignition, or by moistening the oxide with nitric 
acid, and again igniting, but the operation is then necessarily 
more tedious. 

When we likewise consider that copper and nickel are 
generally separated in the course of analysis, by precipitation 
as sulphuret, we shall at once see the desirability of endea- 
vouring to determine their quantities as directly as possible 
from that compound ; and the following experiments were 
made with this object in view. 

The first point inquired into was, whether the precipitated 
sulphurets of prolonged ignition, or rather calcination, could 
not be completely deprived of all their sulphur, and converted 
into oxides. The results obtained were, however, not at all 
satisfactory, as the sulphurets were never completely decom- 
posed and invariably yielded too high results, as may be seen 
from the following experiments : — 

(a) 3*75 gr. metallic copper, equivalent to 4*70 gr. oxide, 
yielded 5*47 gr. incinerated sulphuret ; being an ex- 
cess of 0-77 gr., or equal to 10*38 per cent, too much 
(0) 3*63 gr. metallic copper, yielded 5-10 gr., instead of 4*55 
gr. CuO ; equal to excess of 0*55 gr., or 12*08 per cent. 

(c) 1*76 gr. copper = 2'20 CuO, gave 224 gr., an excess of 

004 gr., or 1*81 per cent, too much. 

(d) 25*00 gr. of a mineral, containing by a previous ex- 

amination 45*31 per cent, copper, afforded 17*64 gr. 

* This is particularly apt to take place if great care is not taken to incine- 
rate the filter perfectly on which these metals had heen precipitated pr<\ ii ill 
to solution. 

Copper and Nickel in quantitative analysis. 133 

calcined sulphuret, equivalent, if reckoned as CuO, to 
1408 gr. metallic copper, or 56*32 per cent. This 
oxide dissolved in nitric acid, and determined in the 
usual manner by precipitation by potash, with all pre- 
cautions, gave 1410 gr. CuO = to 11*25 gr. me- 
tallic copper, or 4504 per cent. ; so that in this case, 
if the ignited sulphuret had been considered as oxide, 
the quantity of copper present would have been over- 
estimated by more than ten per cent. 
The copper in all these cases was thrown down from its 
solution in nitric or hydrochloric acid, by a stream of sul- 
phuretted hydrogen, and worked with water impregnated 
with that gas. 

Again, in repeating these experiments with nickel, equally 
unsatisfactory results were obtained ; thus — 

4*98 gr. nickel, equivalent to 6*34 gr. NiO, afforded 6*96 
gr. incinerated sulphuret ; or an excess of 062 gr., equal 
to 9*79 per cent, too much. 

1035 gr. nickel, equal to 13 16 NiO, gave 13*27 ; equal 
to 0*11 gr. too much, or 82 per cent. 

The nickel being in these cases precipitated from its solu- 
tion by hydrosulphuret of ammonium. 

It will also be noticed, that neither in the case of nickel or 
copper does the excess appear constant, but perfectly un- 
certain in amount. With the hopes that the pure oxide 
would remain, on treating the ignited sulphuret with nitric 
acid, in the same porcelain crucible in which it had been in- 
cinerated, evaporating to dryness, and again igniting, so as 
to drive off the sulphuric acid formed, — this was tried, and 

11*72 gr. of an alloy, containing by calculation 49*49 
per cent, copper was dissolved, the copper precipitated by 
sulphuretted hydrogen, washed and treated as above, yielded 
7 74 gr. impure oxide, equal, if considered as CuO, to 
6*179 metallic copper, or 52*72 per cent. ; shewing an excess 
of above three per cent., arising from undecomposed sulphate 
of copper. 

Further trials in which ihe oxides thus obtained were very 
strongly ignited, with a view to decompose thoroughly all 
sulphate present, afforded much better, and nearly if not 

134 D. Forbes, Esq., on the Determination of 

quite accurate results ; but the heat required was found in- 
conveniently great, and considerable difficulty was found in 
decomposing the last traces of sulphate ; in consequence, 
therefore, the method now about to be noticed was tried and 
found much more convenient in practice, and to afford very 
accurate results. 

Upon analysing the residue left after incinerating the 
sulphurets produced by precipitating these metals, it was 
found to consist of a mixture of the disulphuret and oxide 
of the metal, and containing a small amount of sulphate ; — 
this will be seen from the following results : — 
(a) 13*27 gr incinerated sulphuret of nickel (precipitated by 

hydrosulphuret of amnion 

Sulphuric acid, 

um), yielded on analysis, 


which by calculation will be equivalent to- 
Nickel, . . . 2-21 

Sulphur, • . . 0-60 

Nickel, . . . 8-08 

Oxygen, . . . 220 

Oxide of nickel, . . 0-09 

Sulphuric acid, . . 0*1 1 

2-81 Ni 2 S 

10-28 NiO 

0-20 NiOSO, 

which shews a difference of only 0*02 gr. from the ob- 
tained results. Again, in case of copper, 
(/>) 2*24 gr. incinerated sulphuret of copper (precipitated by 

a stream of sulphuretted 

Sulphuric acid, 

ydrogen), afforded- 



Copper and Nickel in quantitative analysis. 135 
which, upon calculation, is equivalent to — 

Sulphur, . 

Oxygen, . 

Oxide of copper, 
Sulphuric acid, 

0-287 Cu 2 S 



1-924 CuO 
0-059 CuO SO, 


or an excess of -03 gr. above the quantities experimen- 
tally found.* 
As now the atomic equivalent of sulphur is exactly double 
that of oxygen, that of the disulphuret of a metal will of 
course be precisely the same as of its corresponding protoxide ; 
and this fact consequently enables us at once to calculate the 
amount of copper or nickel contained in a mixture of the 
disulphuret and oxide, however variable the relative propor- 
tions of these compounds may be, and it becomes only neces- 
sary to remove the small amount of sulphuric acid present in 
the incinerated sulphurets, in order to determine the amount 
of the one or other metal present. 

The addition of a small amount of pulverised carbonate of 
ammonia to the incinerated sulphuret (as soon as cold), and 
then carefully heating until all ammoniacal salts are expelled, 
seems completely to effect this object, as will be seen from 
the following results obtained experimentally : — 

(a) 4-30 gr. metallic copper, precipitated by the electro- 
type, were dissolved, precipitated by sulphuretted hydro- 
gen, and treated as above with all precautions. The 
mixture of CuO + Cu 2 S obtained, amounted to 5*37 
gr., whereas by calculation it should have been 538 gr. 

(b) 1*76 gr. same copper, similarly treated, yielded 2-21 gr. 

CuO + Cu 2 S, whereas by calculation it should have 
afforded 2-204 gr. 

* The equivalents for nickel and copper employed in the preceding calcula- 
tions have been Ni = 2957, Cu == 3166, = 8, S = 16. 

L36 Determination of Copper and Nickel. 

(c) 17 89 gr. of an alloy containing by calculation 4949 

per cent, copper, treated as above, yielded 11-12 gr. 
CuO + Cu 2 S, equivalent to 8-878 Cu or 49-62 per cent, 

(d) 761 gr. pure metallic nickel, precipitated from its solu- 

tion by hydrosulphuret of ammonium, and treated as 
above, yielded 9*665 gr. NiO + Ni 2 S, or equivalent to 
7*607 gr. nickel. 

(e) A solution of 499 gr. nickel and 3*73 gr. copper was 

treated with sulphuretted hydrogen to separate the 
copper ; the nickel afterwards thrown down by hydro-sul- 
phuret of ammonium, and both determined as,above, gave 

6-34 gr. NiO + Ni 2 S = 4-98 gr. metallic nickel, 
and 4-70 gr. CuO + Cu 2 S = 3-75 gr. ... copper. 

As these results appeared extremely satisfactory, it seemed 
not unlikely that this process could also be extended to 
the determination of cobalt ; and in consequence, 525 gr. 
pure metallic cobalt were dissolved in nitric acid, and neu- 
tralised by ammonia, then precipitated by hydrosulphuret of 
ammonium. The precipitated sulphuret, after washing, in- 
cineration, and ignition with carbonate of ammonia, weighed 
8-98 gr., and even after being several times successively 
heated with carbonate of ammonia, it weighed 8'68 gr., 
whereas by calculation it should only have yielded 667 gr. 
The residue, which was expected to have consisted of oxide 
and di sulphuret, appeared quite pink, and aggregated to- 
gether on each ignition, evidently containing a large amount 
of sulphate of cobalt, which seemed most strongly to resist 
decomposition, and therefore it does not appear probable that 
this method could be employed in the determination of cobalt. 

From the results obtained with copper and nickel, it may 
be concluded that the process here described may safely be 
used in estimating these two metals ; and, in a very large 
number of determinations of nickel, it has been found to 
afford the most accurate and satisfactory results. 

In the case of copper, however, more attention must be 
paid to the details of the operation, as the protosulphuret of 
copper, especially in cases where free sulphur has been pre- 

Henry Clifton Sorby on the Origin of Slaty Cleavage. 137 

cipitated along with it, is very apt to aggregate together, or 
even fuse during the incineration (if this is not very carefully 
conducted), and, consequently, is less easily acted upon by the 
air during incineration ; this must be avoided, and the oxide 
should also not be allowed to absorb hygrometric moisture 
before or during weighing. 

It will be found most convenient to add the carbonate of 
ammonia to the incinerated sulphuret in the same crucible in 
which it had been ignited, or rather to cover the ignited 
sulphuret with four or five times its volume of this salt, and 
then by means of a small agate pestle or glass rod to break 
up all grains and mix it well together by trituration, which 
can be easily effected without any loss whatever, as the super- 
stratum of carbonate of ammonia effectually prevents any 
particles flying over the side of the crucible. This, with its 
cover loosely placed upon it, is now very gently heated, until 
nearly all ammoniacal salts are expelled ; then the heat is in- 
creased for an instant, and the whole, after cooling over sul- 
phuric acid, is weighed and estimated as usual. 

On the Origin of Slaty Cleavage. By Henry Clifton 
Sorby, F.G.S. Communicated by the Author. 

For several years I have devoted myself almost entirely to inves- 
tigating the physical structure of rocks, both on a large scale, as 
seen in the field, and by preparing sections of extreme thinness, 
capable of being examined with the highest powers of the micro- 
scope. This latter subject has hitherto attracted little or no atten- 
tion, though the inspection of two or three thin sections will some- 
times solve most important geological problems. Amongst other 
branches of the study, I have applied this method of research to 
ascertain the origin of slaty cleavage, which, being obviously due to 
some peculiarity of structure, I thought might, in all probability, be 
solved by that means. The examination of thin sections of slate 
rocks with high powers, and a comparison with those of similar 
mineral composition not possessing cleavage, have led me to form a 
theory to account for their difference of structure, materially different 
from any yet propounded, and which, in my opinion, not only does 
so most satisfactorily, but also explains perfectly every fact that I 
am acquainted with, connected with the subject. To enter fully 
into the whole would require a long treatise, and I shall therefore, 
on the present occasion, merely give a short outline of my general 


Henry Clifton Sorby on the 

Professor Phillips and Mr Daniel Sharpe have shewn that the 
organic remains found in slate rocks indicate a change of their 
dimensions ; and it was their observations which first led me to 
test the mechanical theory, as applied to explain the microscopi- 
cal structure. I am fully prepared to substantiate their observa- 
tions, and have also ascertained a number of other facts, proving, in 
an equally conclusive manner, that slate rocks have undergone a 
great change in their mechanical dimensions, which change is in- 
variably related to the direction and intensity of the cleavage, and 
is such that the cleavage lies in the line of greatest elongation, and 
in a plane perpendicular to that of greatest compression. 

A most careful examination of very numerous contortions of the 
beds in slate rocks, in North Wales and Devonshire, has led me to 
conclude that they indicate a very considerable amount of lateral 
pressure, the thickness of the contorted beds being very different in 
one part to what it is in another. The accompanying figure will 
illustrate my meaning, where it will be seen that the thickness of the 
contorted sandy bed is about four times greater in those parts lying 
in the mean direction of cleavage than in those perpendicular to it. 

Vertical section seen in the Cliffs near Ilfracombe, North Devon. 
Scale, 1 inch to 1 foot. 

Fine-grained, dark coloured, shaly 
slate ; the bedding shewn by bands 
of coarser grain and lighter colour, 
which, in the upper part, are not 
contorted. The cleavage is well de- 
veloped, and dips about 60° to S. by 

Much contorted bed of coarser- 
grained light coloured sandy slate, 
with less perfect cleavage. 

Fine-grained slate, as at the upper 

Origin of Slaty Cleavage. 139 

The difference in thickness of the beds in different parts of the 
contortions, and the doubling of the beds, which are necessarily re- 
lated to one another, give rise to what may be called an axis for 
each contortion ; which, from the nature of the case, must lie in the 
line of greatest thickening of the beds, and therefore shews the direc- 
tion of the greatest elongation of the mass of deposit, and is usually 
perpendicular to that of maximum pressure. Now I find that, 
though contiguous contortions may have their axes inclined at very 
various angles, even within a distance of not many yards varying by 
a right angle, yet the dip of the cleavage invariably agrees with 
them ; that is to say, it does not pass through them dipping at a regular 
angle, as would most probably be the case if it was not due to a 
mechanical cause, but, in each part, coincides with the line of great- 
est elongation. In the example figured, the axes of the various con- 
tortions are nearly parallel ; but it will be seen that the cleavage 
coincides with them. 

In districts where the cleavage dips at a high angle, the contor- 
tions have also their axes similarly inclined ; whereas, when it is 
nearly horizontal, so also are their axes. 

In slaty rocks of very mixed structure, — as for instance some in 
the north of Devonshire, — the greatly contorted beds are those which 
have only an indistinct or imperfect cleavage, and are of such a 
nature as not to have so readily undergone a change of dimensions 
as beds above and below them. I have frequently seen cases where 
such beds are contorted, so as to indicate a very great amount of lateral 
pressure and change of dimensions, whilst the finer beds just above 
and below them are most distinctly seen not to have been contorted 
at all. The case figured illustrates this in a very satisfactory man- 
ner. It would seem that a sandy bed had been forced into sharply 
curved contortions, and its dimensions altered in different parts by 
the pressure, as previously mentioned. The distance from the lower 
ends of the two principal contortions was, in a direct line, nine 
inches, whereas, measured in the line of the bed, it was thirty-eight ; 
and therefore these two points must at first have been about that 
distance apart, but were forced towards one another, so as to be now 
at a distance of only one-fourth that amount. Above and below the 
contorted sandy portion, the beds of fine-grained shaly slate are 
somewhat disturbed, but in a distance of a few feet a *e not at all 
so ; the thin bands of more sandy deposit being, as usual, only 
broken up into small detached portions, which appear as spots in a 
section perpendicular to cleavage in the line of dip, but as bands in 
its plane. This is only shewn in the upper side of the contorted 
bed, but it was the same below it. Hence it appears to be proved, 
as clearly as possible, that the finer beds have been squeezed to 
about one fourth of their original thickness, partly no doubt by ab- 
solute forcing together of their ultimate particles, but also by elon- 
gation in the line of dip of cleavage ; the general direction of which 

140 Henry Clifton Sorby on the 

is seen to be perpendicular to that of the pressure. I have observed 
numerous suchlike cases, and in fact nearly all the greatly contorted 
coarser-grained beds in North Devonshire present similar appear- 
ances. They are, in fact, analogous to what would occur if a strip 
of paper, for instance, was included in a mass of some soft plastic 
material, which would readily change its dimensions. If the whole 
was then compressed in the direction of the length of the strip of 
paper, it would be bent and puckered up into contortions, whilst the 
plastic material would readily change its dimensions, without such 
being the case ; and the difference in distance of the ends of the 
paper, as measured in a direct line, or along it, would indicate 
the change in dimensions of the plastic material. 

The green spots so often seen in slate, do also most distinctly indi- 
cate a similar change of dimensions. I am persuaded that they have 
been concretions of a peculiar kind, formed round bodies lying in the 
plane of bedding. In rocks without cleavage, such green spots are 
almost perfect spheres, or are elongated in the plane of bedding. The 
facts seen in those in slate rocks, prove, I think, most clearly that 
they were exactly similar before the cleavage was developed. Now, 
however, they are greatly compressed in a line perpendicular to 
cleavage, and somewhat elongated in the line of its dip. When 
they have been originally spherical, their long axis agrees with 
the dip of cleavage, both in its plane and perpendicular to it ; 
whereas, if they have been originally more elongated in the 
line of bedding, their longer axis is inclined in such a manner 
as would then occur if they had been subsequently elongated 
in the direction of dip of cleavage ; that is to say, it does not now 
coincide with it, but deviates towards the plane of bedding. If, 
however, the stratification is perpendicular or parallel to the cleavage, 
the longer axis of the spots does agree with the dip ; or, if it cuts 
the plane of cleavage in the line of true strike, then also, in the plane 
of cleavage, the longer axis of the spots coincides with the line of dip. 
On the whole, all the facts agree most perfectly with what would oc- 
cur if the spots had originally been similar to those in non-cleaved 
rocks, and the mass of slate had been greatly compressed in a line 
perpendicular to cleavage, and somewhat elongated in the line of dip. 

Many of the finer-grained slates used for roofing, contain minute 
rounded grains of mica, seldom so much as iJ tb of an inch in 
diameter, and usually much less, which are of nearly the same 
thickness as width, and not merely flakes. When these are cut 
through in the thin sections used for microscopical examination, they 
are seen to be composed of many lamina?. When the line of lamina- 
tion, — that of the crystalline cleavage of the mica, — coincides with 
the cleavage of the slate, these rounded grains retain their form unal- 
tered. If the lamination is perpendicular to the cleavage, the rounded 
form still remains, but the lamina? are generally not straight, being 
irregularly bent in just such a manner as if they had been coin- 

Origin of Slaty Cleavage. 141 

pressed in the direction perpendicular to the cleavage of the slate. 
Those, however, which lie with their lamination at intermediate 
angles, as for instance at 30° or 40° to the cleavage of the slate, do 
not retain their original form, but are broken up and extended out 
in the plane of their lamination, in just such a manner as would 
occur if the dimensions of the slate had been changed, as previously 
mentioned. If carefully drawn with a camera lucida, these broken- 
up grains can be, as it were, restored to their original form, and the 
amount of change of dimensions calculated with great accuracy. 

Hence, therefore, in cleaved rocks, whether we examine the 
diminution in the distance between any two points lying in the line 
of pressure in contorted beds, the dimensions of the beds in differ- 
ent parts of contortions, the organic remains, the green spots, or the 
very minute rounded grains of mica, we find most conclusive evidence 
of an elongation in the line of dip of cleavage, and of a great com- 
pression, invariably in a line perpendicular to the cleavage. 

The relation between the compression and elongation varies in 
different rocks, as would necessarily follow from their different com- 
position. The examination of the spots on fine-grained, good 
roofing slate furnishes the best evidence of the absolute condensation 
in a direction perpendicular to cleavage. If they had originally 
been spheres, and if there had been no condensation of the rock, 
but only a change in its dimensions, so that, though its thickness 
was reduced, it was elongated to a corresponding extent in the line 
of dip of cleavage, it would necessarily follow that their area would 
not be changed in the plane perpendicular to cleavage in the line of 
its dip. Therefore, if, in the plane of cleavage, the length of the spot 
in the line of dip bore a certain proportion to that in the line of 
strike, in the plane just mentioned, the ratio of the length of the 
spot, in the direction of cleavage, to that perpendicular to it, would 
be as the square of that in the former case. Very numerous and 
accurate measurements, in the very perfectly cleaved slate near 
Penrhyn and Llanberis, shew that, in the plane of cleavage, the 
length of the spots in the line of dip exceeds that in the line of 
strike in the proportion of 1*6 : 1 ; whilst in the plane perpen- 
dicular to cleavage, in the line of dip, their length in the line of 
cleavage is six times greater than perpendicular to it. In the plane 
perpendicular to cleavage, in the line of strike, the ratio between 
the length of the spots in the line of cleavage to that perpendicular 
to it, would be 6 : 1-6 = 3-75 : 1. These results are obtained from 
so many and various cases, that the effects of bedding, in such regular 
spots as I chose, would be so slight as not to be of any material 
consequence. If no condensation had occurred, the ratio of the axes 
in the plane perpendicular to cleavage would have been as 2*56 : 1, 
instead of 6 : 1 ; and hence there must have been an absolute com- 
pression from 100 to about 43. From the nature of the facts, the 
chances are that it is, if anything, rather too great ; and hence, 

142 Henry Clifton Sorby on the 

probably, the true average absolute condensation ill such rocks, has 
been to about one-half of the original volume. This must have 
resulted chiefly from the forcing of the particles more closely to- 
gether, so as to fill up the spaces left between them, when only 
touching each other ; and their very close packing, as seen in thin 
sections, agrees well with this supposition. 

These amounts of change of dimensions vary considerably in dif- 
ferent cases, but they agree most perfectly with that indicated by 
the contortions of the beds in their immediate vicinity, and also 
most closely correspond with that deduced from the breaking up of 
the rounded grains of mica. 

The power most generally useful in examining slate rocks, is 
about 400 linear ; but higher and lower are of course valuable for 
particular purposes. It is almost indispensable to use a polarizing 
microscope, and there should be such contrivances as to give a good, 
bright, polarized light with high powers. The physical structure 
and optical properties of the minerals found in them, are such that 
they can be identified with great certainty, even when in grains less 
than T q\ Q-th of an inch in diameter. 

Some slate rocks, as for instance the pencil slate of Shap, consist 
almost entirely of rounded grains and minute flakes and granules of 
mica, varying from about T ^th to IF ^ ^ ^-th of an inch in diameter, 
but chiefly under T - \ ^th. I do not believe that this is in the least 
due to metamorphism, but has been a deposit of micaceous mud, 
for the rounded grains have every character of being water- worn ; 
and in the limestone of Rhiwlas near Bala, which consists almost 
entirely of such grains and flakes of mica, and fragments of en- 
crinites, their organic structure is as perfect, or even more so, than 
in any limestone with which I am acquainted, though I have pre- 
pared and examined thin sections of several hundred specimens of 
every geological period ; and so much so, that any material amount 
of metamorphism is wholly out of question. When deposits of 
decomposed felspar have been acted on by great heat, they are, as it 
were, baked into a natural porcelain, but no such grains of mica are 
formed. Usually, besides mica, there is found in good roofing slate, 
like that at Penrhyn, a certain proportion of decomposed felspar, a 
few minute grains of quartz sand, and granules of phosphate of iron. 
The red tint is produced by the presence of very numerous minute crys- 
tals of peroxide of iron, and the dark by those of pyrites. From such 
slate there is every gradation to those containing little or no mica, 
but made up of more or less fine quartz sand, and decomposed felspar, 
in very variable proportion ; but these have only an imperfect 
cleavage. Other slates, as is well known, contain much chlorite 
and other minerals. On the present occasion I shall chiefly con- 
fine myself to the consideration of such slate as has a perfect cleavage. 

If a thin section of a rock not having cleavage be examined, which 
has a similar mineral composition to those which, when having it, 

Origin of Slaty Cleavage. 143 

form good slates, it will be seen that the arrangement of the particles 
is very different. For instance, the well-known Water of Ayr stone 
has no cleavage, but shews more or less of bedding. It consists of 
mica and a very few grains of quartz sand, imbedded in a large pro- 
portion of decomposed felspar ; the peroxide of iron being collected 
to certain centres, and having the characters of peroxidised pyrites. 
The flakes of mica do not lie in the plane of bedding, but are in- 
clined tolerably evenly at all angles, so that there is no definite line 
of structural weakness, independent of that due to bedding ; which 
results chiefly from alternations of layers of somewhat different com- 
position, and not from the arrangement of the ultimate particles. 
This is however totally different in a rock of similar composition 
having cleavage. If a section be examined, cut perpendicular to 
cleavage, in the line of its dip, it will be seen that though some of 
the minute flakes of mica lie perpendicular to the cleavage or at high 
angles to it, by far the larger part are inclined at low, so that the 
majority lie within 20° on each side of it. In fact they are most 
numerous nearly in the plane of cleavage, and gradually but rapidly 
diminish in quantity in passing to higher angles, so that there are 
twenty times as many nearly in the plane of cleavage as at 45° to it, 
and very few at 90°. Where a section is examined, cut perpen- 
dicular to cleavage, in the line of the strike, it is seen that the ar- 
rangement is similar, but there is not near so rapid a diminution of 
the members in passing from the line of cleavage, so that there are 
comparatively several times as many more inclined at about 45° to 
it, than when the section is in the line of dip, and those at still 
higher angles are also much more numerous. In a section in the 
plane of cleavage, but few flakes are cut through so as to have a 
greatly unequiaxed form ; but they are similarly arranged with re- 
spect to the line of dip, though not in so marked a manner. It is 
not merely the larger flakes of mica that are thus arranged, but 
the whole of those unequiaxed particles which existed in the rock 
before the cleavage was developed. 

When a cleavage crack in the thin sections is examined, it is 
clearly seen that the cleavage is due to the above described arrange- 
ment of the particles, which it follows most perfectly ; not passing 
straight forwards, but turning about according to the manner in 
which the ultimate particles lie in every part. It therefore appears 
that the fissile character of slate is due to a line of structural weak- 
ness, brought about by the manner of arrangement of the ultimate, 
unequiaxed particles. The natural cleavage cracks, of course, bear 
the same relation to this arrangement as those so often seen in 
many crystalline bodies do to that of their ultimate atoms. They 
appear, in general, to have been mainly due to meteoric agencies ; 
their position having been determined by the structural weakness. 
In accounting, then, for so-called slaty cleavage, it is only requisite 
to shew how such particles could have had their position so changed 

144 Henry Clifton Sorby on the 

that their arrangement should be altered from that found in rocks 
not having cleavage to that in those having it ; which explanation 
must of course be such as would agree with every other fact con- 
nected with the subject. 

Now I trust I have already shewn that there is abundance of 
evidence to prove that rocks having slaty cleavage have been greatly 
compressed in a line perpendicular to cleavage, and elongated to a 
certain extent in the line of its dip. Taking for the amount of these 
chmges those I have already mentioned for the slate of Penrhyn and 
Llanberis, it is easy to calculate, mathematically what would be the 
arrangement of the unequiaxed particles in such a rock as Water of 
Ayr stone, if its dimensions were so changed. Supposing that A = 
the angle of inclination of the longer axis of any unequiaxed particle 
to the line along which the maximum elongation would occur, and 
that a = this angle after it had taken place, we should have, per- 
pendicular to cleavage in the line of dip, tan a =-^— ^ — ; in that 

of strike tan a = ; and, in the plane of cleavage, tan a — 


. From these relations it necessarily follows that the particles 

would then be arranged in precisely such a manner as is seen to be 
the case in such a rock having cleavage, the agreement being most 
perfect in every particular, both in kind and amount, as seen in sec- 
tions cut in each direction. 

Though such calculations may be fully relied on, yet, to satisfy 
myself that they were correct, I have tested them by actual experi- 
ment. Having mixed some scales of oxide of iron with soft pipe- 
clay, in such a manner that they would be inclined evenly in all di- 
rections, like the flakes of mica in Water of Ayr stone, I changed 
its dimensions artificially to a similar extent to what has occurred 
'in slate rocks. Having then dried and baked it, I rubbed it to a 
perfect flat surface, in a direction perpendicular to pressure and in 
the line of elongation, which would correspond to that of dip of 
cleavage, and also, as it were, in its strike, and in the plane of 
cleavage. The particles were then seen to have become arranged in 
precisely the same manner as theory indicates that they would, and 
as is the case in natural slate ; so much so, that, so far as their 
arrangement is concerned, a drawing of one could not be distinguished 
from that of the other. Moreover, it then admitted of easy fracture 
into thin flat pieces in the plane corresponding to the cleavage of 
slate, whereas it could not in that perpendicular to it. Even in 
clay which has but few very unequiaxed particles, a most distinct 
lamination is produced by changing its dimensions, as described 
above, but it would not cleave perfectly, no more than will natural 
slate of similar mineral composition, and moreover one cannot ob- 
tain their firm, uniform structure. 

Origin of Slaty Cleavage. 145 

It is a fact well worthy of remark, that, on each side of the larger 
rounded grains of mica, in the line of cleavage, in well-cleaved slates, 
the particles are arranged evenly at all angles, over small trian- 
gular spaces, having their bases towards the grain. This is just the 
part which would be protected from change of dimensions by its pre- 
sence ; and this fact is therefore very good evidence of the slate having 
had originally such a structure as would be changed into its present, 
if its dimensions had been altered in the manner and to the extent in- 
dicated by the breaking up of other rounded grains of mica seen in 
the same thin section. 

What I therefore contend is, that there is abundance of proof that 
slate rocks have suffered such a change of dimensions, as would ne- 
cessarily alter the arrangement of their ultimate particles from what 
is found in rocks not having cleavage to that in those which have, 
and hence develop a line of structural weakness in the direction in 
which it really does occur. 

Some slates have a very poor cleavage, although their mineral 
composition is similar to that of such as often have a most perfect. 
In these the green spots indicate a comparatively small change of 
dimensions ; and in others having no cleavage, the contortions and 
spots shew that little or none has occurred. Whence it should ap- 
pear that the perfection of cleavage depends both upon the ultimate 
mineral composition, and the amount of change of dimensions of the 

When slates are composed of alternating beds of different charac- 
ter, the cleavage almost always does not pass straight through them, 
but lies nearer to the plane of bedding in the finer-grained and more 
perfectly cleaved varieties. When the cleavage cuts the beds at a mode- 
rate angle, this difference is often very considerable ; but where the bed- 
ding is perpendicular or parallel to it, there is little or no variation. 
When the change in mineral structure of the beds is sudden, the in- 
clination of their respective cleavages is sharp and angular ; but if 
it be gradual, it passes from one to the other in a curve. These facts 
are most easily explained by this theory. When such a mass of 
rocks was compressed, certain beds would yield much more readily 
than others, both to absolute compression and elongation. In such 
contortions of coarse-grained beds interstratified with fine, as that 
figured, the fact of them being so whilst the fine are not, and the 
spreading-out arrangement of the cleavage planes in the finer, at the 
vertices of the contortions of the coarser, as shewn in the figure, 
prove that they did not admit of so much absolute compression as 
the fine. In uncontorted alternating beds of such characters the 
amount of elongation in the line of dip could not vary, and, there- 
fore, it would necessarily follow that the more compressible would 
be more compressed in the plane of bedding than the others. Hence, 
the line of cleavage would lie more towards that plane in the fine 
than in the coarser, the junction being angular or curved, according 

VOL. LV. NO. CIX. — JULY 1853. K 

14(3 Henry Clifton Sorby on the 

as the nature of the beds changed suddenly or gradually, as is really 
found to be the case. 

The inequalities at the junctions of different kinds of beds, and 
the peculiar wrinkling of their surface, agree perfectly with this 
mechanical theory. I have examined sections cut in the plane of 
bedding perpendicular to the cleavage, and find that the arrange- 
ment of the particles corresponds to the wrinkles, and is just such 
as would necessarily occur if there had been an irregular giving way 
of the rock so as to form them. 

If the direction of the cleavage be examined in the various parts 
of the case figured in this memoir, I cannot conceive how they could 
possibly be explained, except by such a theory as I am now advo- 
cating. In the coarser-grained sandy bed it coincides with the axes 
of all the contortions, and is in the line of greatest elongation of the 
thickness of the bed, and perpendicular to the line of pressure. It 
is arranged in fan-shape in all the contortions, as though they had 
been squeezed together after the sandy bed had suffered as much 
compression as it admitted of. The cleavage in the fine-grained beds 
at some distance from the contorted one, is perpendicular to the 
line of squeezing, as indicated by its puckering up, and the increase 
and diminution of its thickness, in passing round the contortions ; 
but when approaching their rounded ends, though the cleavage 
passes straight forward in the line of their axes, it spreads out 
on each side, and curves down into the sharp-ended spaces be- 
tween them, in just such a manner as would necessarily occur if tho 
coarser-grained bed had been less compressed than the other. It 
would also follow, that the above-mentioned fan-shaped arrangement 
would be of greatest amount in such beds as offered much resistance 
to change of dimensions, whereas in fine-cleaved slates it would be 
very small, or even not occur at all ; and such is the fact observed 
in the rocks themselves. It would also necessarily follow from this 
theory, that the strike of the cleavage would usually coincide with 
the general strike of the beds, and be parallel to the main axis of 
elevation of the district, as has been found to be so commonly the 
case. The dip of the cleavage planes over any extensive district 
would likewise be as has been observed. The structure of the so- 
called double-cleaved slate admits of most easy explanation, as do 
a number of other facts connected with the subject ; and, so far as I 
am aware, there are none which cannot be explained by this theory, 
or by suppositions most perfectly reconcilable with it. 

It may perhaps be objected that the cleavage of slate is too regular 
and parallel in its range over a given district, to agree with the sup- 
position of its being due to the cause I have suggested ; but I think 
there is abundance of evidence to shew that such a physical change 
of dimensions has really occurred with the kind of regularity observed 
in respect to the cleavage planes. Such metamorphic schists as 
those of the north-east of Anglesea, have a peculiar linear graining 

Origin of Slaty Cleavage. 147 

on the surface of their beds, but no true cleavage. This linear grain- 
ing is due to small puckerings of the beds, and may be called " plica- 
tions of the first order." They are not parallel to other sets of 
plications which have occurred after their formation. I have care- 
fully examined their direction over a considerable area, and laid them 
down on a map, and find that they trend parallel, or turn gradually 
about, in precisely the same manner as the strike of the cleavage 
planes in slate rocks. Similar facts have been often observed with 
respect to larger contortions. There can be no doubt of the mecha- 
nical origin of both these kinds of plications, and hence we have 
evidence to shew that wide districts have been compressed laterally 
in just such a manner as would produce a similar arrangement of the 
strike of the cleavage planes in rocks of such a character as have 
had cleavage developed, when they have suffered similar compression 
under somewhat different circumstances. It has also been urged 
against this theory, that if masses of rock of different kinds had been 
compressed, they would not have given way uniformly. This, how- 
ever, must have arisen from some misapprehension of the real ar- 
rangement of the cleavage in such rocks ; for, as I have shewn, the 
facts prove that they have not given way uniformly, and this very 
circumstance explains many of its irregularities. 

Perhaps it may be said, How is it possible that hard rocks could 
have had their dimensions changed to the extent described? To 
this I would reply, If the rocks be examined, it will be seen that it 
really has occurred, and I would suggest that solidity is but a com- 
parative property, and that the intensity of the forces in action during 
the elevation of a range of mountains, could gradually change the 
dimensions of rocks ; for it is well known that many hard and brittle 
substances will admit of such movements, as for instance the ice of 
glaciers, and hard and brittle pitch. 

I would now ask, How is it possible to reconcile all the mechani- 
cal facts I have described, which are so clearly related to the clea- 
vage, with the supposition of its being due to electrical action, or any 
other non-mechanical cause ? If I be not greatly deceived, they all 
form a most complete whole, if viewed in the light I have placed 
them ; whereas, so far as I can see, they are quite incomprehensible 
on the latter supposition ; nor, so far as I can learn, have its most 
zealous supporters ever given any satisfactory reason for the manner 
of distribution of the cleavage planes, even assuming them to be as 
regular and uniform as some authors appear to describe them. Mr 
Sharpe's theory, of course, only differs from mine in his assuming 
that the particles have been really compressed ; whereas I am per- 
suaded, that in general they have only suffered a change of position. 
This, however, no doubt resulted from the different method of research 
I have adopted. It would however, cause me to extend this com- 
munication to too great a length, to enter fully into all these questions, 
or describe many other facts 1 have observed connected with the sub- 


148 Colonel Sabine on the Determination of 

ject. My object, in the present memoir, is to give a rough outline 
of my observations and theories ; and though I have greatly exceeded 
my proposed limits, yet I fear that many points will have been far 
from clearly understood ; for to explain them all thoroughly would 
require much detail and numerous illustrations. 

Colonel Sabine on the Determination of the Figure and 
Dimensions of the Globe. 

The determination of the figure and dimensions of the globe 
which we inhabit may justly be regarded as possessing a very 
high degree of scientific interest and value ; and the measure- 
ments necessary for a correct knowledge thereof have long 
been looked upon as proper subjects for public undertakings, 
and as highly honourable to the nations which have taken 
part in them. Inquiries in which I was formerly engaged, 
led me fully to concur with a remark of Laplace, to the effect 
that it is extremely probable that the first attempts were 
made at a period much anterior to those of which history has 
preserved the record ; the relation which many measures of 
the most remote antiquity have to each other and to the ter- 
restrial circumference strengthens this conjecture, and seems 
to indicate, not only that the earth's circumference was known 
with a great degree of accuracy at an extremely ancient period, 
but that it has served as the base of a complete system of 
measures, the vestiges of which have been found in Egypt 
and Asia. In modern times the merit of resuming these in- 
vestigations belongs to the French nation, by whom the arc of 
the meridian between Formentera and Dunkirk was measured 
towards the close of the last century. The Trigonometrical 
Survey of Great Britain, commenced in 1783, for the specific 
object of connecting the Observatories of Greenwich and 
Paris, was speedily expanded by the able men to whom its 
direction was then confided, into an undertaking of far greater 
scientific as well as topographical importance, having for its 
objects, on the one hand the formation of correct maps of 
Great Britain, and on the other the measurement of an arc of 
the meridian, having the extreme northern and southern 
points of the Island for its terminations. A portion of this 

the Figure and Dimensions of the Globe. 1 49 

arc, amounting to 2° 50', viz. from Dunnose in the Isle of 
Wight to Clifton in Yorkshire, was published in the Phil. 
Trans, in 1803. As the whole arc, extending from Dunnose 
to Unst and Balta, the most northern of the Shetland Islands, 
would comprise more than 10°, and as nearly half a century 
had elapsed since the publication of the earlier part of the 
survey, it is not surprising that some degree of impatience 
should have been felt, both by those who desired the results 
for scientific use, and by those who were interested for the 
scientific character of the nation, that the general results of 
the survey applicable to scientific purposes should at length 
be given to the world. Accordingly, at the Birmingham 
Meeting of the British Association in 1849, a resolution was 
passed appointing a deputation to confer with the Master- 
General of the Ordnance, and a similar resolution was passed 
about the same time by the President and Council of the 
Royal Society. On communicating with the Master-General, 
it appeared that the want of special funds for the requisite 
calculations formed the only obstacle, a difficulty which was 
happily immediately surmounted by an application of the 
President and Council of the Royal Society, to Lord John 
Russell, then First Lord of the Treasury. The report of the 
Council of the British Association to the General Committee 
at the meeting of the last year at Ipswich, contained an offi- 
cial statement from the Inspector-General of Fortifications 
of the progress of the reduction and examination of the ob- 
servations preparatory to the desired publication, and con- 
cluded with expressing the expectation of the director of the 
survey, that he " should be able to furnish for communication 
to the British Association that would probably assemble in 
1852, the principal results obtainable from the geodetic 
operations in Great Britain and Ireland." By a recent letter 
to my predecessor from Captain Yolland of the Royal En- 
gineers, who is intrusted with the direction of the publication, 
I am enabled to have the pleasure of announcing that the 
u printing of the observations made with the zenith sector, 
for the determination of the latitudes of stations between the 
years 1842 and 1850, is finished, and will be presented in 
time for the meeting of the British Association, and that the 

150 Professor Secchi on the 

calculations connected with the triangulation are rapidly ad- 
vancing towards their completion." 

In the meantime, the great arc of Eastern Europe has been 
advancing with unexampled rapidity, and to an extent hitherto 
unparalleled. Originating in topographical surveys inEsthonia 
and Livonia, and commenced in 1816, the operations, both 
geodesical and astronomical, have been completed between 
Izmail on the Danube and Fugleness in Finnmarken, an ex- 
tent of 25^- meridional degrees. Next to this in extent is 
the Indian arc of 21° 21' between Cape Comorin and Kaliana ; 
and the third is the French arc already referred to, of 12° 22'. 
It appears by a note presented to the Imperial Academy of 
Sciences at St Petersburg by M. Struve, that a provisional 
calculation has been made of a large part of the great arc of 
Eastern Europe, and that it has been found to indicate for 
the figure of the earth a greater compression than that de- 
rived by Bessel in 1837 and 1841, from all the arcs then at 
his command, — Bessel's compression having also been greater 
than Laplace's previous deduction. It is naturally with great 
pleasure that I perceive that the figure of the earth derived by 
means of the measurement of arcs of the meridian, approxi- 
mates more and more nearly, as the arcs are extended in 
dimension, to the compression which I published in 1825 as 
the result of a series of Pendulum Experiments, which, by 
the means placed by Government at my disposal, I was en- 
abled to make from the equator to within ten degrees of the 
pole, thus giving to that method its greatest practicable ex- 
tension. — Address to the British Association at Belfast. 

On the Distribution of Heat at the Surface of the Sun. 
By Professor Secchi. 

1. The heat of the solar image is at the centre almost 
twice as great as at the borders. This is found to be true, 
examining the diameters both in right ascension and decli- 
nation. 2. The maximum of temperature did not appear to 
be at the centre, but above it, in a point distant from it about 
3' of geocentric declination. Constructing graphically the 

stribution of Heat at the Surface of the Sun. 151 

curve of the intensity of heat, taking as abscissae the parts 
of the sun's diameter, and as ordinate the intensities them- 
selves, it appears that this curve (a kind of inverted para- 
bola) is not symmetrically disposed about the axis of the 
ordinates, but a good deal inclined towards the upper edge. 
I subjoin some numbers which represent the intensity of 
heat in the parts of the diameter of the sun, taken in minutes, 
+ above, and — below the centre of the image. 

Positions on the diameter \ 

of the sun in declina- I + 14'-96 +ll'-32 +3'-00 + 1' 32 -10'-9 -14'-88 

tion, J 

Relative intensity of heat, 57-39 88-81100-00 99-48 81-32 54-34 

These are the results of eight series of experiments, none 
of which is found in contradiction with the others, and their 
separate numbers are very nearly the same, so that the fact 
seems to me completely ascertained. It is certainly curious 
that the maximum of heat corresponds with the position of 
the solar equator, as visible from the earth at the epoch of 
the experiment (20th, 21st, 22d March). This leads natu- 
rally to the conclusion that the solar equatorial regions must 
be hotter than the polar regions, as was suspected already 
from the more frequent appearance of the spots there. The 
conclusion seems perfectly accurate, even admitting a solar 
atmosphere, since the effect of this last should be to diminish 
symmetrically the radiation around the centre of the image ; 
on the contrary, if the polar regions are less hot than the 
equatorial, the intensity of heat should have been less in 
the lower part of the image, where the south pole of the sun 
was visible ; and consequently, the parts having equal dis- 
tance from the centre of the image, had a very different 
heliographical latitude, on account of the inclination of the 
solar axis to the ecliptic. From these principles only, the 
non- symmetry of the curve is accounted for. If this alone 
is the cause, the curve will be found symmetrical in the 
months of June and December, and reversed in September, 
since in the two former the equator passes through the centre 
of the image, and in the last is below it. But it is not im- 
possible that the two solar hemispheres should possess diffe- 
rent temperatures, as seems to be the case on the earth, and 
is suspected in Mars. If this is the case, these researches 

152 M. Plana on the Mean Density of 

will throw some light on the climatology of the earth itself; 
since the heat of the sun must be different, according as one 
or other of its poles is turned towards the earth. Future 
experiments will resolve this question. With respect to the 
poles of the sun, I shall add here a conjecture on a fact re- 
cently discovered by Colonel Sabine. The journal Institut 
relates that this gentleman has found that the deviation of 
the magnet from its mean position at the Cape of Good Hope 
is found to be in opposite directions at the epochs of the two 
equinoxes. Might this not be an effect of the solar magne- 
tical polarity on the terrestrial magnetism. The fact deserves 
to be examined, if it takes place in our hemisphere, and in 
opposite directions. Coming again to the solar heat, I have 
found that spots seemed less hot than the rest ; but as only 
small groups of them were visible, no singular fact or law 
can be stated from these observations. I shall conclude this 
account by noticing an odd historical coincidence, namely, 
that these observations were made in the same room where 
it is said F. Schemer, the first who used a telescope mounted 
equatorially, made his observations of the sun. This room 
has been this year added to the observatory. — Proceedings 
of the Royal Astronomical Society, November 1852. 

On the Mean Density of the Superficial Crust of the Earth. 
By M. Plana. 

The researches of geometers have established, beyond 
doubt, that the density of the earth increases towards the 
centre. Assuming the densities of the successive strata to 
increase in arithmetical progression, Laplace has investi- 
gated the constant amount of increase for each successive 
stratum, and has hence deduced the mean density of the ter- 
restrial spheroid (Mec. Cel., tome v., liv. xi.) In his re- 
searches on this subject, he supposes the density of the super- 
ficial stratum (q) to be three times the density of the sea, 
considered equal to unity. He remarks that this assumption 
agrees very nearly with the density of granite. His expres- 
sion for the density of any stratum is, 

Q = (p) (1 + e - e a), 

the Superficial Crust of the Earth. 153 

in which a denotes the radius of the stratum (the mean 
radius of the superficial stratum being supposed equal to 
unity), and e the constant quantity by which the depth of 
each successive stratum ; 1 — a is to be multiplied conform- 
ably to the assumed law of density. Admitting the ellipti- 
city of the earth to be equal to 000326, Laplace found the 
value of e to be 2-349, and hence determined the mean den- 
sity to be 4*764. This value differs considerably from the 
results which Reich and Baily have deduced from their ex- 
periments with the batance of torsion ; the former having 
obtained 5*44, and the latter 5*6604, for the mean density of 
the terrestrial spheroid, the density of pure water being sup- 
posed equal to unity. 

The remarks of Humboldt on the density of the superficial 
stratum of the earth, contained in the first volume of his 
Kosmos, would seem to imply that the value of this element 
assumed by Laplace is erroneous. He states, that from the 
nature of the rocks which constitute the superficial strata of 
the solid parts of the globe, the density of continents is 
hardly 2*7 ; and he hence infers, that the mean density of 
continents and seas taken together does not amount to 1/6. 
The researches of Plana, contained in the note above referred 
to, serve to confirm this conclusion. Supposing the ellipti- 
city of the earth to be represented by 000326 (1 - 0*008479), 
he has found that the mean density 5*44, and the initial den- 
sity 1*6, may be satisfactorily accounted for. The ellipticity 
derived either from actual measurement or from researches 
on the lunar theory, cannot be regarded as sufficiently trust- 
worthy to render the value here assumed inadmissible. On 
the other hand, if the ellipticity be supposed equal to 0*00326, 
the mean density deducible is 4*76 ; a result which is incom- 
patible with the precision of the experiments made for the 
purpose of determining this element. — Proceedings Astron. 
Soc, Dec. 1852. 


Lieutenant Maury s Plan for Improving Navigation ; with 
Remarks on the Advantages arising from the Pursuit of 
Abstract Science. Extracted from Lord Wrottesley's 
Speech in the House of Lords, on 26th April 1853. 

4 ' It is time that I should now explain how these charts are 
constructed and routes discovered. The whole ocean is 
divided into squares the sides of which represent 5° of longi- 
tude and 5° of latitude ; in the midst of these squares the 
figure of a compass is drawn, with lines representing sixteen 
of the compass points, the intermediate points being omitted ; 
the log-books are then searched for observations of the direc- 
tions of winds and of the proportion of calms in each of 
these squares. In the centre of each compass so drawn are 
placed two numbers, one representing the total number of 
observations obtained in the square, the other the percent- 
age of calm days. By the side of each of the lines repre- 
senting the sixteen points of the compass, are written num- 
bers which denote the per-centage of the winds that have 
been found to blow from that quarter, and at the extremity 
of each line are numbers, which shew the per-centage of 
miles a ship will lose if she attempt to sail 100 miles through 
that particular square, in the particular direction indicated 
by the line in question. Now that number is obtained as 
follows : — 

" By the resolution of simple problems in sailing, it is 
known that if the wind will not allow a ship to lie within six 
points of her course, that is, if it be a head wind, she will lose 
62 miles (omitting fractions) in every 100 that she sails, or, in 
other words, after sailing 100 she will only have made 38 good 
in the wished-for direction ; in like manner, if she can sail 
within four points, she loses 2D miles, and if within two points, 
only eight. Having therefore the per-centage of winds that 
will make such deviation from the desired course necessary, 
it is easy by a common proportion to calculate the total 
amount of space lost or detour (as Maury calls it) for every 
given direction, for every 100 miles sailed within the square. 
When a course has to be traced, therefore, all the squares 

Lieut. Maury's Plan for Improving Navigation. 155 

are carefully examined, and by a very laborious system of 
trial and error, the combination of squares is found which 
gives the route most likely to succeed, by ascertaining those 
through which the loss is a minimum. I s*ay most likely, 
for of course this is only a problem of chances, and the event 
may be adverse, as in the case of insurances, but is less 
likely to be so as observations are multiplied. I should ex- 
plain that in performing this process, currents and calms are 
taken into account, and that there are separate compasses 
drawn, and separate routes traced for each of the twelve 
months of the year ; for though the winds are assumed to be 
so far constant for individual months as to give an average 
on which some reliance may be placed, when the number of 
observations is sufficiently large, this is by no means the case 
thoughout the whole year. When the twelve compasses have 
been delineated and filled up, they are combined, by a pecu- 
liar and neat arrangement of the numbers within concentric 
circles, into one, and a chart of the ocean, containing these 
combinations, is termed a pilot chart. 

" Lieutenant Maury is anxious to obtain at least 100 ob- 
servations per month in each square, which will be more 
than a million and a half for the whole ocean, and a less 
number seems certainly not sufficient to give a result in 
which confidence can be placed. As might be expected, in 
some squares he has obtained a great many more than this, 
and in some none at all ; in the square e. g. which adjoins 
New York, he has obtained 4,387 observations ; but there 
is a large space of ocean seldom traversed by ships, that e. g. 
between the southern extremities of Africa and America, in 
which the squares are all blank. Now, my Lords, I think 
those blank squares are a reproach to the civilisation of the 
present age, and I say so on this principle, that it is our 
duty not to rest satisfied till we know all that can be known 
about the globe we inhabit, that can be rendered in any way 
profitable to our common species ; and therefore I think that 
the principal maritime nations should share the labour of ex- 
ploring these vacant spaces, for no doubt shorter routes 
might be discovered through them, and others matters ascer- 
tained, to which I shall presently allude. However, it is no 

15(3 Lieut. Maury's Plan for Improving Navigation. 

part of Lieutenant Maury's plan, as such, to send out survey- 
ing expeditions. 

" Now, your Lordships will of course understand that other 
things besides *the directions of the winds are contained in 
these log-books, and these matters not contained in ordinary 
records of this kind; but I thought it better to keep that 
division quite distinct, as it is the winds that form the chief 
guide in devising the new course. Hydrography is of two 
kinds, — that which consists in accurate surveys of harbours 
and coasts, which may be called more properly ' maritime 
surveying,' and that which consists in recording all the 
phenomena of a scientific character which are observed at 
sea, in what sailors call ' the blue water,' i. e. out of ordi- 
nary soundings. Among these the most important, exclusive 
of astronomical and meterological observations, properly so 
called, are the force and set of currents, and the temperature 
and depth of the water. The American masters are instructed 
to immerse a thermometer in the water, and take the tem- 
perature of the ocean at least once a day, and to examine, as 
often as convenient, the force and set of currents, and also to 
try for deep sea soundings." 

Report of the Royal Society on Lieutenant Maury's Scheme. 

" Short as is the time that this system has been in opera- 
tion, the results to which it has led have proved of very great 
importance to the interests of navigation and commerce. The 
routes to many of the most frequented ports in different parts 
of the globe have been materially shortened, that to St 
Francisco in California by nearly one-third : a system of 
southwardly monsoons in the equatorial regions of the At- 
lantic and on the west coast of America has been discovered ; 
a vibratory motion of the trade-wind zones, and with their 
belts of calms and their limits for every month of the year, 
has been determined : the course, bifurcations, limits, and 
other phenomena of the great Gulf-stream have been more 
accurately defined, and the existence of almost equally re- 
markable systems of currents in the Indian Ocean, on the 
coast of China, and on the north-western coast of America and 
elsewhere, has been ascertained. There are, in fact, very few 

Lieut. Maury's Plan for Improving Navigation. 157 

departments of the science of meteorology and hydrography 
which have not received very valuable additions ; whilst the 
more accurate determination of the parts of the Pacific Ocean 
where the sperm-whale is found (which are very limited in 
extent), as well as the limits of the range of those of other 
species, has contributed very materially to the success of the 
American whale fishery, one of the most extensive and pro- 
ductive of all their fields of enterprise and industry." 

Lieutenant Maury is enthusiastic in the cause. He sees the 
benefits that must arise from the extension of this system of 
observation, and he invites the co-operation of all maritime 
nations ; but to which does he look with the most longing 
eyes and the best hopes of success % Of course to the nation 
of whom the poet sings — 

" Their path is on the mountain wave, 
Their home is on the deep ;" — 

To his brethren at this side of the Atlantic. What do the 
Royal Society say on this point ? 

" But it is to the government of this country that the de- 
mand for co-operation, and for the interchange of observa- 
tions, is most earnestly addressed by the government of the 
United States ; and the President and Council of the Royal 
Society express their hope that it will not be addressed in 
vain. We possess in our ships of war, in our packet service, 
and in our vast commercial navy, better means of making 
such observations, and a greater interest in the results to 
which they lead, than any other nation. For this purpose, 
every ship which is under the control of the Admiralty should 
be furnished with instruments properly constructed and com- 
pared, and with proper instructions for using them : similar 
instructions for making and recording observations, as far as 
their means will allow, should be sent to every ship that 
sails, with a request that the results of them be transmitted 
to the Hydrographer's Office of the Admiralty, where an 
adequate staff of officers or others should be provided for 
their prompt examination, and the publication of the im- 
proved charts and sailing directions to which they would 
lead. Above all, it seems desirable to establish a prompt 
communication with the Hydrographer's Office of the United 

158 Lieut. Maury's Plan for Improving Navigation. 

States, so that the united labours of the two greatest naval 
and commercial nations of the world may be combined, with 
the least practicable delay, in promoting the interests of 

However, the Dutch have in this instance been beforehand 
with us ; they have already adopted Maury's plan. The ex- 
penses will be really trifling in comparison to the great 
results to be obtained. Some thermometers must be bought 
and supplied to ships, and officers must be placed in charge 
of a separate department of hydrography, whose constant 
duty it will be to collate all the materials sent in, and con- 
struct new charts, and that department must be placed in 
communication with the hydrographical department of the 
United States. But if I do not take too sanguine a view of 
the matter, it really seems to me that this expenditure will 
bear an almost indefinitely small ratio to the benefits likely' 
to be realised to navigation alone. But this is a small part 
of the total amount of advantages — the benefits that are 
likely to flow from having a numerous host of observers 
making meteorological observations continually night and 
day, over all the parts of the globe covered with water, which 
are nearly three-fourths of its surface, and which before 
supplied no materials to the common stock of science, can 
scarcely be over-estimated. There is no subject which is 
more perplexing than the science of the weather ; the pheno- 
mena are so various and so complex that at one time 
philosophers despaired of eliminating any general laws ; but 
the prospect is now brighter ; a vast step has been made by 
the invention of self-registering instruments, the beautiful 
applications of electricity to that object, and by the esta- 
blishment of numerous magnetic observatories, at all of 
which meteorological observations are made. But the sea 
may be described as the spot on which all the phenomena 
are in their most regular and normal state, uninterrupted 
by casual causes, such as unduly heated surfaces, mountain 
ranges, and so forth. " The sea," says Maury, " is the field 
for observing the operations of the general laws which 
govern the circulation of the atmosphere. Observations on 
land enable us to discover the exceptions, but from the sea 

On the Arctic Relief Expeditions. 159 

we get the rule." Thus the addition of near three-fourths 
of the globe to the field of meteorological observation, and 
that three-fourths covered by water, will be an accession to 
science of great importance. 

Observations by Augustus Petermann, Esq., on the Arctic 
Relief Expeditions. 

Noble efforts have been made to rescue Sir John Franklin 
and his companions. But now that nearly eight years have 
elapsed without tidings of them, even the most sanguine 
must begin to feel anxiety about their safety. If, as is very 
probable, they have not perished from the want of food, but 
have been eking out an existence by means of certain Arctic 
animals, their number must have greatly diminished, and 
those who may still be alive would doubtless, from their 
long confinement and severe trials, have their strength so 
reduced as to be unable to extricate themselves from their 
prison, or make much locomotive progress. In any efforts, 
therefore, that may yet be made for their relief, time should 
form a chief point of consideration, as every week may cut 
off some from the number yet living. It is now satisfac- 
torily established that they must be looked for far beyond 
the American shores, — indeed, far beyond Melville Island, — 
namely, opposite the shores of Siberia, in a region extend- 
ing from the land discovered by Captain Kellett to the 
eightieth parallel, and from the meridian of Point Barrow 
on the American side, to that of the Kolyma on the Asiatic. 
This is just the region which has been, and is still, alto- 
gether unprovided for in the search, except by the Assistance 
and her tender under Sir Edward Belcher, who has gone up 
Wellington Channel, where most probably the missing expe- 
dition has preceded him. But although Sir Edward Belcher 
found an unusually open season, enabling him to push his 
way up that channel, it is not very likely, considering the 
time that would be lost in looking for traces, that he would 
overtake Franklin in less than three years, by following him 
on a route which has occupied the latter six years. For it 

160 On the Arctic Relief Expeditions. 

must be remembered that Sir John Franklin, in 1846, was 
in exactly the same position as Sir Edward Belcher now is, 
if lie then did get up Wellington Channel ; and surely his 
expedition was as effective as that of the latter, and his crew 
not inferior. 

While it is evident that the relief expeditions hitherto 
have been too much concentrated on one side of the Arctic 
regions, — in summer 1850 no less than eleven vessels were 
accumulated in one spot, — it is not too much to say that the 
search on the track of the missing vessels has only now com- 
menced, by Sir Edward Belcher's having sailed up Welling- 
ton Channel. 

The rest of the searching vessels at present in the Arctic 
regions, the Investigator and Enterprise, as well as those 
under Captain Kellett, are only directed to Banks Land and 
Melville Island, a region probably far away from Sir John 
Franklin's position. " The fearlessness and tameness of 
the animals in Melville Island," says Lieutenant M'Clintock, 
— the best authority on this point, — •' was almost in itself a 
convincing proof that our countrymen had not been there ;" 
and indeed, it may be added, not anywhere within five hun- 
dred miles. If Sir John Franklin had wished to retreat to 
any known region on the American side, nothing could 
surely have hindered him from doing so. It is well known 
that sledge parties have travelled distances of nearly one 
thousand miles during one winter ; and Sir John Ross, after 
four years' imprisonment in the ice, and with a force of only 
twenty-four men, greatly reduced by hardships and trials, 
travelled at least five hundred miles, partly by land and partly 
by water, from the point where he abandoned his vessel to 
that where he was released. 

The fact that no less than fifteen expeditions, consisting 
of thirty vessels, besides the boats, had failed in their main 
object, prompted me a short time back to draw attention to 
a portion of the Arctic regions which has remained entirely 
neglected, and to suggest a plan of search through the Spitz- 
bergen Sea, that great ocean between Spitzbergen and 
Novaya Zemlya. I adduced reasons to shew that that sea 
would probably offer the best route, and demonstrated that 

Professor Secchi's Description of Lunar Volcanoes. 161 

its exploration was a most important desideratum in a com- 
mercial and geographical point of view. If the searching 
operations are to be based on a comprehensive and exhaus- 
tive system, my scheme cannot possibly be left unconsidered 
and neglected. The commercial interests of the country 
likewise demand an early exploration of the region to which 
I have drawn attention, and science looks eagerly forward 
to the solution of one of the most interesting of geographical 
problems. Moreover, when it is considered that five years' 
increasing efforts from one side have hitherto proved com- 
plete failures, the other side, so promising as regards an 
easy and speedy access with the aid of steam, should no 
longer be neglected. As yet the missing voyagers may not 
all have perished, but a further delay of one or two years 
may not leave one of them to tell the woeful tale of their 
sufferings, and may repeat the fearful case of Sir Hugh 
Willoughby 1 s Expedition, where the stiff and frozen corpses 
only were found on the dreary shores of the Arctic regions. 

A Description of Lunar Volcanoes. By Professor Secchi. 

Professor Secchi divides the Lunar Volcanic Formations 
into three classes, and he says, " a fourth may be added, 
analogous to our Plutonian Formations. 

" The first class of the lunar volcanoes possesses a dis- 
tinctive character ; that the edges of the craters are almost 
completely obliterated, so that their border now is a conti- 
nuation of the plane ground, in which they seem excavated, 
and a deep well only remains in the place of the ancient 
mouth of the volcano. Instances of this kind are very fre- 
quent near the south pole of the moon, and around the large 
spot Tycho; but Tycho itself does not belong to this class. The 
physiognomy of these craters nearly resembles our submarine 
volcanoes of the Monti Ciminii to the north-west of Rome. 
The country around the craters of Braceiano, Bolsena di 
Vico, is almost flat, and the old openings of the craters are 
now deep lakes. On this ground we are led to believe that 
even in the moon many subaqueous volcanoes existed. 

VOL. LV. NO. CIX. — JULY 1853. L 

162 Professor Secchi's Description of Lunar Volcanoes. 

Another distinct character of these volcanoes of the first 
class is, that they are in a line, as if they burst from the 
cracks of the solid body of the crust produced by earlier 
formations : this is most striking in Arzahel, Purbach, Al- 
phonsus, and many others, and they seem to follow the cracks 
made by the soulevement which raised Tycho, the lunar Ap- 
pennines, &c. Some of the higher chains of lunar mountains 
are seen visibly parallel to the alignement of the craters : 
this fact also is like that which we observe on the earth ; in- 
deed, the large Italian volcanic chain follows the line of the 
Apennines along this country. 

" The second class of lunar volcanoes are those which 
have their outside edges elevated above the surrounding plain; 
their form is generally regular, and not broken, as those of the 
preceding class, and the ground around them is elevated in 
a radiating disposition, as is visible around Tycho, Coper- 
nicus, Aristotle, &c. The regularity of their forms suggests 
that the ejected matter was not disturbed by the motion of 
waves, and, consequently, that they were atmospherical vol- 
canoes, like those of the Monti Laziali, Albani, and Tuscu- 
lani, at the south-east of Rome ; the want of breach in the 
craters seems to indicate that no lava, but only scoriae and 
loose matters have been ejected. The disposition of the 
soil around them suggests the opinion that they are of a 
comparatively later epoch, and formed after the crust of the 
satellite was pretty resistant, and was capable of being ele- 
vated all round by a great effort. It is singular, indeed, 
that this radiation of the soil around is found proportional 
to the magnitude of the central crater. The effect of this 
soulevement extended sometimes to a prodigious distance, 
comparable to that of the Cordilleras of the Andes on the 
earth. The greater part of the craters of both the classes 
now described possesses an insulated rock inside, very seldom 
appearing (at least in commonly good telescopes) perforated. 
This bears great analogy with what we see in more than 
one place in the ancient volcanoes of the earth, where the 
erupting mouth has been stopped by a dome of trachytic 
matter as by a stump. Monte Venere, near Rome, is of this 
formation, and lies in the centre of an immense old crater. 

Professor Secchi's Description of Lunar Volcanoes. 163 

" The third class of lunar craters is very small, and bears 
a great likeness with those called by geologists adventitious 
craters, and seems to be of a very late formation, the last 
efforts of the expiring volcanic force. They are irregularly 
scattered through all the moon, but occur more frequently at 
the borders or inside of the old demolished craters, although 
not concentric with them, and seem to have been produced 
after the large ones were completely closed, either by tra- 
chytic ejection or by becoming lakes. These small craters 
have very seldom rocks inside, or a flat bottom ; but their 
cavity is conical, and does not exceed in dimension our com- 
mon volcanoes which are yet active on the earth. From 
these facts and observations it appears, that volcanic action 
has gone on in the moon through all the same stages which 
it has gone and is going on in the earth, and is there, pro- 
bably, completely extinguished, on account of the smaller 
mass of the moon, which has been cooled very rapidly. This 
rapidity of cooling, joined with the smaller gravity, may ac- 
count for the great development of volcanism there, and 
comparatively fewer Plutonian formations. But extensive 
instances of this kind are not wanting ; the lunar Alps, the 
Apennines, the Riphese, &c, may represent t hi formation, 
surrounding vast basins, and having modern volcanoes fol- 
lowing the direction of the higher edges of their chains. 
Professor Ponzi seems to think it unquestionable that water 
existed at the surface of the moon ; the fierce glare of the 
sunshine is not able to melt the ice there, which is, probably, 
at the temperature of the planetary spaces ; just as the sun 
at the surface of the earth is not able to melt our glaciers, 
which yet possess a certainly higher temperature. Cold, 
and other unknown causes, may have absorbed and fixed all 
the atmosphere which anciently existed, as we see that the im- 
mense atmosphere which anciently surrounded the earth has 
been fixed by several chemical processes and reduced to its 
actual composition ; and it might be possible that this ac- 
tually existing atmosphere of ours should be all solidified, 
either by cold or chemical processes, if the earth arrives at 
the same degree of cold which seems to have place on the 



Livingston's Researches in South Africa. 

At a late meeting of the New York Geographical Society, 
Mr Leavitt read a paper from Rev. Mr Livingston, English 
missionary in South Africa. Mr L. had made two excur- 
sions, in company with Capt. Oswald and another officer of the 
British Army. Passing the lake Ngami and the river Zonga, 
in latitude 20° south, they passed in their journey due north 
across the dry bed of the Zonga. Here they found numerous 
salt-pans or ponds. The Bushmen abound near the springs. 
They are a merry and honest race. For three days Mr Living- 
ston was without water ; travelling by night to avoid the heat. 
On the fourth day they struck a rhinoceros trail, and follow- 
ed it to the river Mataba, a small stream. They reached the 
Chobe on the next day. This is a deep and very crooked 
river. Here they found a famous old chief, Sabatoae. His 
tribe is a very savage one. This old chief died while the tra- 
vellers were there. They then went on to the Sesheke or 
Skiota, on horseback, a distance of 100 miles. This is an 
immense stream ; 300 to 500 yards across in the driest 
season . Ten days up the river is the seat of the Barotsi, once 
the most powerful tribe in that region. The river has many 
tributaries and some rapids. In this region there are many 
large rivers ; the country is flat, and in the rainy season is 
flooded for many miles from the streams. The people here 
are very black, very large, and strongly developed, but peace- 
ful. They are more ingenious than the Cape people. The 
Baloe tribes melt large quantities of iron, and are very good 

From an examination of the recently constructed maps of 
this country, it is seen that the Zambesi (which is a very large 
river emptying into the Mozambique Channel, by innumer- 
able mouths, in latitude 18° and 19° south), seems to divide 
into two great branches some 350 miles up ; that these 
branches run west, and then for several hundred miles north ; 
that the branches are something like 200 miles apart, and 
that the country between is a rich delta, since junction 
streams constantly run from one branch to the other, thus 

On the Crystalline Form of the Globe. 165 

forming large islands inhabited each by a different tribe : that 
700 or 800 miles from the ocean, the western branch of the 
Zambesi receives the Chobe, which is also a large river, the 
Ohio to this African Mississippi ; that the sources of none of 
these rivers are as yet known ; that south and west of the 
Chobe runs the Zonga, another very large river, neither end 
of which has been found, but it is supposed to empty into the 
Zambesi ; that one or two hundred miles further south is the 
Limpopo River, also unexplored either way. It seems pro- 
bable, from these documents, that there is a large and fertile 
region well watered, wooded, and peopled, on the spot gene- 
rally set down as the lower part of a great desert, lying 
within a space bounded by longitude 20° and 35°, and lati- 
tude 10° and 20°. — [American Annual of Scientific Discovery 
in 1853, p. 383.) 

On the Crystalline Form of the Globe. By M. DE Hauslab. 

M. de Hauslab, in a recent publication, after discussing 
the direction of mountains, and of dikes and of cleavages 
among rocks, deduces some general principles with regard 
to their direction, and then explains his hypothesis that the 
surface of the globe presents approximately the faces of the 
great octahedron. In an octahedron there are three axial 
planes intersecting one another at right angles ; and the po- 
sitions of the circles on the earth's surface, which he lays 
down as the limits of these planes (or their intersection with 
the surface), are as follows. The first circle is that of 
Himalaya avid Chimborazo, passing from Cape Finesterre to 
the Himalaya, Borneo, eastern chain of New Holland (leaving 
on its sides a parallel line in Malacca, Java, and Sumatra), 
to New Zealand, thence to South America, near Chimborazo, 
the chain of Caracas, the Azores to Cape Finesterre. The 
second passes along the South American coast, and the north 
and south ranges of the Andes, the mountains of Mexico, the 
Rocky Mountains, Behring's Straits, the eastern Siberian 

166 On the Crystalline Form of the Globe. 

chains, going to the south of Lake Baikel, the Altai, Hima- 
laya, the mountains of Bombay in Hindostan, a point in the 
north-east of Madagascar (where the summits are 12,000 
feet high), the mountains of Nieuvvedfeld, 10,000 feet high, 
Cape Caffres, to Brazil, the rapids of La Plata, Paraguay, 
Panama, the elevated basin of Titicaca, the Andes, Illimani, 
and the defile of Maranova. The third circle cuts the two 
preceding at right angles, and passes by the Alps, the islands 
of Corsica and Sardinia, along the basin of the Mediter- 
ranean, the mountains of Fezzan, Lake Tchad, the Caffre 
mountains of Nieuwedfeld, the Southern Ocean, near Ker- 
guelen's Land, the eastern or Blue Mountains of New 
Holland, Straits of Behring, Spitsbergen, Scandinavia, Jut- 
land, &c. 

These three great circles point out the limits of the faces 
of the great hypothetical octahedron. Each of the faces may 
be divided into eight others by means of line of accidents of 
minor importance, so as to make in all forty-eight irregular 
triangles, a form of the diamond. At the intersections, M. 
de Hauslab observes that there are nodes of dikes, and 
along the lines, or near them, all the mountains of the globe 
occur. The author gives an extended illustration of his sub- 
ject, and afterwards considers the particular history of the 
configuration of the earth's surface in accordance with his 

M. Boue, who adopts similar views, adds as a note, that 
we should remember in this connection that the metals crys- 
tallise either in the tesseral or rhombohedral system, and 
that native iron, the most common constituent of meteorites, 
is octahedral in its crystals. 


On the Classification of Mammalia. By Charles Girard, 
of Washington. 

I. The limits of the class of Mammalia were not clearly un- 
derstood by the earlier naturalists. Some groups, which in 
former times were referred to other classes (as Cetacea and 
Bats), have successively been brought into it. None, how- 
ever, originally placed in this class have ever required re- 
moval elsewhere. Thus the progressive investigations has 
always increased the number of the representative^ of this 

At the present day, we may safely say that we know all 
the essential groups of the class of Mammalia, the actual 
limits of which are acknowledged by every naturalist. 
Indeed, we must expect many additional species and genera 
which time and labour will bring to light, either in a fossil 
state from various depths in the strata which constitute the 
solid crust of our globe, or else from its actual surface, and 
belonging to the living fauna contemporary with the human 
races. Such additions are not expected to change or modify 
the boundaries of the class, though they may have some im- 
portance in the subdivisions and methodical arrangement of 
the minor groups. 

The division of the class into secondary or minor groups, 
the relationship and subordination of the latter, have at- 
tracted the attention of all general writers on zoology. Al- 
most every one has attempted a classification in accordance 
with the value attributed to one series of characters, rather 
than to another. 

The most ancient authors seem to have occupied them- 
selves but little with zoological characters : hence the sub- 
divisions which they establish among Mammalia are based 
upon their mode of life, or the elements in which they live. 

Next we see the subdivisons based upon external charac- 
ters, the most striking being selected, such as the locomotive 

All this prior to the eighteenth century. 

168 On the Classification of Mammalia. 

Towards the end of that very century, however, compara- 
tive anatomy started as a science ; and at the beginning of 
the nineteenth, it introduced an entirely new method of 
classification. Systematic zoology underwent a metamor- 

The first half of the present century had not yet elapsed, 
when another science grew up with rapid steps, claiming her 
share in the question of the natural classification of the ani- 
mal kingdom : we allude to embryology. The formation of 
the young mammal, its genesis, its development prior to the 
period when it makes its first appearance in the world, if not 
entirely unveiled yet, are no longer mysterious, and their 
bearing upon systematic zoology is universally felt. 

Palseontological data are not less important in arriving at 
a natural classification, than those derived from either com- 
parative anatomy or embryology ; and indeed palaeontology, 
comparative anatomy, and embryology, hold an equal rank in 
respect to zoology. 

As investigations progress in these fields of researches, 
new light is daily thrown on some obscure points, and diffi- 
cult questions are thus elucidated ; but as yet, no methodical 
arrangement of the class of Mammalia has been universally 
adopted: there is still as much diversity of opinion, and 
perhaps even more at the present time than in the two past 
centuries, although, as a whole, our views on the subject have 
been improved upon those of our ancestors. 

II. In order to render more tangible our thoughts on the 
subordination of the various groups which constitute the class 
of Mammalia, we have prepared the accompanying plate, 
which we shall now examine. 

The orders Edentata and Marsupialia are considered as 
the trunks of the class : these two groups, we place on the 
same level. They constitute the foundation, the bottom of 
the class, and accordingly are the lowest of all. 

On the Classification of Mammalia. 



The trunk of Edentata sends out three diverging stems, 
the Monotremata, the Edentata proper, and the Tardi- 
grada :* an herbivorous stem (Tardigrada s. Gravigrada), 

* The graphic representation on a plane surface has caused the stem of Tar- 
digrada to be separated from its trunk ; but in bringing into contact both 
edges of the plate, we would obtain a figure similar to that of Marsupialia. 
Instead of a flattened surface, we want an ideal cone for both trunks. 

170 On the Classification of Mammalia. 

an insectivorous stem {Edentata proper), and a carnivorous 
stem (Mo)totremata.) The carnivorism in the trunk of Eden- 
tata is of the lowest grade, and subordinated ; as the carni- 
vorous propensities only attack invertebrates, that is to say, 
animals of a much inferior rank, comparatively very weak 
and defenceless. 

Above Monotremata we place Cetacea (whales and dol- 
phins) ; Edentata proper, above the Insectivora ; and above 
Tardigrada, the Sirenidia, or so-called herbivorous cetaceans, 
the Pachydermata and Ruminantia. 

The trunk of Marsupialia exhibits likewise three stems, 
an herbivorous, an insectivorous and a carnivorous. Above 
which we have, the Rodentia, containing the herbivorous 
stem ; the Insectivora, continuing the insectivorous stem in 
common with Edentata proper ; and Carnivora, continuing 
the carnivorous stem. 

Thus above Edentata and Marsupialia, we have, on an- 
other level, Cetacea, Sirenidia and Walrus, Pachydermata, 
Ruminantia, Rodentia, Insectivora, and Carnivora ; that is to 
say, all the normal types which represent the full develop- 
ment of the class as synthetically combined in Edentata and 
Marsupialia below. 

The fact that Insectivora are foreshadowed both by Eden- 
tata and Marsupialia, shews that there exists a close con- 
nection between the two trunks of the class. The insecti- 
vorism is intermediate in rank between herbivorism and car- 
nivorism ; it is of a higher grade than the former, and of a 
lower than the latter. The predominating feature of the 
trunk of Edentata consists in the vegetable diet, and in the 
want of a complete set of teeth ; the predominating feature 
of the trunk of Marsupialia, on the contrary, consists in the 
animal diet, and the possession of a complete set of teeth. 
Accordingly there can be no doubt that Edentata are lower 
in grade than Marsupialia : they are the lowest grade in 
their class. 

It will be obvious, also, that here Edentata rank the 
lowest in grade amongst the normal groups of the class ; 
still shewing that Edentata are inferior to Marsupialia, the 
latter foreshadowing groups of a marked superiority. 

On the Classification of Mammalia. 171 

Now there are other groups which we place on still an- 
other level above the normal types, although not of an 
absolute superiority. Their place can be nowhere else ; their 
history must follow that of the normal types from which 
they proceed : the Bradipodidai (or sloths), arising from the 
herbivorous stem of Edentata ; the Sciuridai (or squirrels), 
arising from the stem of Rodentia ; the Cheiroptera (or bats), 
arising from the stem of Insectivora ; and the Quadrumana 
(or monkeys), arising from the stem of Carnivora. 

We consider these as so many shoots of the mammalian 
tree, which went beyond the vital sphere of activity of the 
class ; in other words, deviations from the normal develop- 
ment of the class. 

III. § 1. Let us return now to some of the groups mapped 
down on our chart of the ideal gradation, and state in a very 
brief manner their most striking zoological features and rela- 

To begin with Edentata, which we concluded were the 
lowest of the class : when looking at those creatures amidst 
the other groups, we cannot help being strangely struck by 
their singular physiognomy, and the still more astonishing 
association of characters, which appear sometimes rather 
borrowed from other classes, than as belonging to that of 
Mammalia. We need only call to mind the water-mole 
{Ornithorhyncus) of New Holland, the pangolins (Manis) of 
Asia and Africa, the anteater (Myrmecophaga) and arma- 
dillos (Dasypus) of South America, the aard-vark (Orcytero- 
pus) of the Cape of Good Hope, and the sloths of tropical 
America, which constitute the three orders Monotremata, 
Edentata proper, and Tardigrada ; the one as strange as the 

The Monotremata exhibit the lowest grade of mammalian 
organization. They are ovoviviparous ; the young are with- 
out uterian connection with the mother, but they are suckled 
by the latter. In that respect they approach nearest to birds 
and reptiles ; the structure of their sternum and shoulder, 
also, presents a great resemblance to the same parts in 
lizards and ichthyosauri. Their position at the bottom of the 

172 On the Classification of Mammalia. 

order of Edentata is justified by the fact that one genus 
(Echidna) is completely deprived of teeth, whilst the other 
(Orniihorhynchus) possesses but a few insignificant ones. 
These two genera, which constitute by themselves the whole 
order, may just as well constitute two families, so wide are 
the differences in their general appearance and structure. 

The Edentata proper constitute a group exceedingly re- 
markable, composed of a few genera likewise very strange 
in their characters, strange in their external features, strange 
in all their relations. The differences amongst these genera 
are so great that they have been made the types of as many 
families by systematic writers, and we believe with great 
propriety. The absence of teeth is the only character by 
which they are united, although this character is not absolute, 
inasmuch as grinding teeth in a very rudimentary state are 
observed in some few : the front teeth or incisors — those 
never exist in Edentata. Edentata moreover are provided 
with strong nails or claws to the four locomotory extre- 

Each of the types in Edentata, by its strange appearance, 
recals to mind another order of things, another physical period 
in the earth's history, of which they are mere reminiscences. 
The Tardigrada divide into two groups, one completely ex- 
tinct, the remains of which are found in the tertiary deposits 
of South America chiefly, the Tardigrada gravigrada, or 
Megatheridce ; and another exclusively composed of living 
representatives, the Tardigrada bradipodida, or sloths of 
Central and South America. 

§ 2. The order Marsupialia is another combination into 
one group of strange forms and strange characters, quite as 
diversified and heterogeneous as in the Edentata, although 
Marsupialia seem cast upon a more uniform external mould. 
The great diversity resides in the physiognomy, and in the 
structure of the teeth. 

In Edentata, we have seen the dentition so defective, than 
in several cases teeth were entirely absent. Here in Mar- 
supialia the dentition is greatly developed, becomes a perma- 
nent character, and requires a contrasting importance. The 
incisors, it is true, are nowhere six in each jaw, which is the 

On the Classification of Mammalia. 173 

normal number ; shewing that at the outset the number was 
of a subordinate value, as well as the relative signification of 
the different kind of teeth. Nevertheless it can be distinctly 
shewn that the three orders following, Rodentia, Insectivora, 
and Carnivora, are synthetically combined and foreshadowed 
in the group of Marsupialia, which, when considered zoolo- 
gically in itself, cannot but strike any one as an odd group 
standing isolated in the actual creation. 

§ 3. The order of Cetacea, the lowest amongst the normal 
groups, may be subdivided into three families. The first and 
lowest, the family of Balcenidce, is characterised by the ab- 
sence of teeth, or, if not entirely absent, they have no func- 
tion. These are the toothless or edentated cetaceans, remind- 
ing us of the order of Edentata proper, our second prophetic 
type. The second family, that of Physeteridae, exhibits well- 
developed teeth on the lower jaw, and rudimentary ones on 
the upper : the subdentated cetaceans of the authors.* The 
third family, that of Delphinidai, seems to complete the pro- 
gressive series in the development of teeth ; for the latter 
exist here on both jaws, whence the name of ambidentated 
cetaceans. The fourth family, that of Heterodontidw, in- 
cludes the narwhal or predentated cetaceans, and some 
other types in which the dentition is losing both its shape 
and its function. The Monodon (narwhal) is closely allied 
to Phocaina (porpoise), whilst Hyperoodon comes nearer to 
Delphinus. The other genera are deviations or reminiscences 
of the other families. Heterodonts, then, must follow the 
dolphins in a natural and serial classification. The order of 
Cetacea begins with the whales, and closes with heterodonts ; 
the real superior groups are those placed in the middle, the 
Delphinidse, which represent the normal cetacean type. They 

* Physeteridae, or sperm-whales, are more nearly allied to dolphins than to 
whales, if we take into consideration the structure of the whole skeleton. We 
might even say that Physeteridae are gigantic dolphins in which the develop- 
ment of teeth has stopped, and the hody increased beyond all proportion. 
That colossal mass which sperm-whales partake with the whales proper, is of 
an incontestable inferiority, as it is unfit for graceful movements ; but, on the 
other hand, the material strength is developed, and the muscular power in- 
creased to harmonize with the immensity of the element in which they live. 
Balaenidae, the lowest of the order, are likewise amongst the largest. 

174 On the Classification of Mammalia. 

are the smallest of the order, and possess two fresh-water 
representatives, one closely allied to dolphins proper, the 
second bearing some far relations to Physeteridse (sperm- 
whale), and to the genus Hyperoodon of the heterodonts 

The morphology of the teeth in Cetacea is very interest- 
ing, and instructive in a philosophic point of view, when the 
relationships of this order with the Edentata are well under- 
stood. In the lowest type, teeth remain undeveloped ; in 
the highest, they cover the whole surface of both jaws, but 
are of one kind : incisors, canines, and grinding teeth are not 
known amongst cetaceans. This fact alone would ascribe to 
them an inferior rank amongst the normal groups of the class. 

§ 4. The affinities of the so-called herbivorous cetaceans, or 
Sirenidse, with pachyderms, have been alluded to by several 
authors. In 1834 Fred. Cuvier* wrote the following re- 
markable sentence : " The group of herbivorous cetaceans, 
composed of genera intimately connected together, are related 
to the pachyderms by the manati." And farther on (page 6) 
he remarks that they come nearer to pachyderms than to 
cetaceans. In 1838 they were definitively removed from the 
Cetacea, and actually placed amongst Pachydermata.t Upon 
this point, every naturalist now agrees. Sirenidse are the low- 
est grade among pachyderms ; even if considered as parallel 
to pachyderms, they still must rank lower in a natural classi- 
fication. They are aquatic, provided only with the anterior 
limbs constructed for swimming. Unlike the cetacea, they 
live near the land, and may occasionally creep along a beach ; 
undoubtedly representing a higher step in the class, and an 
approximation towards the subaquatic Hippopotamus, which, 
together with the tapir, shew intimate relation with the 
manati and dugong. The Dinotherium, and other fossil re- 
presentatives of the group of Sirenidia, seem to synthetise 
the living genera of their groups, together with both the 
proboscidian pachyderms and the ruminants. This synthesis, 
however, cannot yet be fully understood. The earth's crust 

* Ilistoire Naturellc des Oetaces, p. 34. 
t Owen, in Proceed. Zool. Soc, London. 

On the Classification of Mammalia. 175 

has not yet yielded all the data by which alone we delineate 
the history of the pachyderms and allied groups from their 
cradle up to our days. 

Amongst the living genera, we observe the following parti- 
culars : The Manati, when young, have on the lower jaw 
two small incisors directed forwards and downwards, remind- 
ing us of the tusks in Dinotherium. The presence of tusks, 
therefore, assigns to the latter a lower position. In Halicore, 
tusks exist on the upper jaw, as in the elephant, w T ith which 
the genus Rytina seems also related by its teeth, although 
completely deprived of tusk of any kind. 

§ 5. The position of the Walrus is between Sirenidia and 
Pachydermata ; they belong to the pachydermic order by 
structural evidences, and bear only analogies to the seals. 
They constitute a small group whose distinctive features 
from Manati consist in the presence of four locomotive mem- 
bers ; and from the other pachyderms, in having these four 
locomotive members adapted for aquatic habits. 

§ 6. The order of Pachydermata is the least understood 
of all, on the very ground that its history belongs chiefly to 
the past ; and since Sirenidia and Trichechidae (walrus) are 
referred to the same group, it becomes difficult to determine 
the relationships between the living and the extinct repre- 
sentatives in order to establish a graduated series. 

We are satisfied of the existence of two progressive series 
in the pachydermic groups, in the following way : 










At the bottom of the order, the extinct Palseotherium and 
Anoplotherium : on one side the proboscidians, and on the 

176 On the Classification of Mammalia. 

other the families which have no proboscis. The proboscidians 
are relatively inferior to nonproboscidians, inasmuch as they 
are edentata in the general sense of the word : grinding teeth 
and tusks alone exist. In the nonproboscidians the dental 
system acquires a great development, the greatest to be ob- 
served in the edentated trunk ; but as this development is 
an excessive effort, and thus brought the group beyond its 
circle of activity, it had only a temporary existence, and be- 
came almost extinct in the present era. 

The history of pachyderms will form a contrasting episode 
compared to that of Cetacea, when it shall once be written 
out fully. Our hypothetical views on the subject, for fear 
that they should appear too premature, we abstain from giv- 
ing now. 

§ 7. As to the limits of the order of Ruminantia, every 
one is agreed ; but not so with regard to its systematic posi- 
tion. Considering its imperfect dental system, we see that 
it belongs to the great division of edentated mammals. That 
ruminants are inferior in rank to rodents, we derive first from 
their appertaining to the edentated division, which we have 
seen is inferior to the division of marsupials. Their dentition 
and herbaceous diet is a second very important feature which 
assigns to them a lower rank than to the rodents, which feed 
chiefly on bark and fruits, a food superior to grass and leaves. 

| 8. Now the position of the order Rodentia is clearly de- 
fined by what has just been said of the ruminants. Their 
complete system of dentition, and the similarity in the in- 
sertion of the incisors in herbivorous marsupials, are the 
reasons which have guided us in this arrangement. 

§ 9. The place which we assign to the order of Insectivora 
is based upon a similar principle : the affinity of their denti- 
tion and mode of life with the insectivorous marsupials and 

§ 10. Pinnipedia have always been placed below Carni- 
vora, and Carnivora have always been divided into digiti- 
grada and plantigrada. We find both plantigrada and digiti- 
grada synthetically indicated in Pinnipedia ; not in the struc- 
ture of the locomotive members, but in the profile of the face. 
§ 11. In the eccentric groups of Bradipodidai, Sriurida j , 

Classification of Mammalia. 


Cheiroptera and Quadrumana, we observe the remarkable 
fact that they assume a general external resemblance to each 
other, that they become monkey-like in features and habits. 
They live above the ground, in trees and in the air; they are 
chiefly nocturnal, and their diet has a general tendency to be- 
coming frugivorous. That Cheiroptera proceed from the in- 
sectivorous stem, the Quadrumana from the carnivorous stem, 
the Bradipodidae from the tardigrade stem, a thorough compa- 
rison of these types will convince every one. 

We give now the following Mammalian System : — 
















2. Plantigrada. 







































SuiDiE. Mastodontid^e. 

hyracid.e. rytinid.e. 

rhinocerotidje. hallchoridie. 
Hippopotamib^e. Manatid^e. 
Trichechid^e. Dinotherid>e. 







vol. lv. yo. CIX. — JULY 1853. 


178 Classification of Mammalia. 





b. EDENTATA proper. 





Phascolomyidm. c. MONOTREMATA. 


(Halmaturidce) Ornithorhynchidm. 

IV. § 1. The data relating to the earliest appearance of the 
class of Mammalia lead us as far back in the earth's history 
as the period of the oolite. There we find it displaying but 
a small number of forms under the shape of marsupials, more 
intimately allied, however, to our opossum than to any of the 
Australian types. These first representatives of the class in- 
habited that geographical portion of the globe now called the 
British Islands. 

The conclusions to which Cuvier had arrived, viz. that the 
epoch of the appearance of mammals was the tertiary in the 
series ; his beautiful researches, his remarkable discourses 
on the revolutions of the globe, were present to the mind of 
every one. Now came that fossil jaw of an opossum-like 
animal, which seemed to contradict these philosophical de- 
ductions. The mammalian nature of the jaw was denied by 
some, exaggerated by others : its geological position in the 
oolite was considered as accidental ; but all attempts at 
rejecting these remains from the class of mammalia have 
proved unsuccessful ; time and repeated investigations have 
concurred in shewing that they were true mammals, and 
that they truly belonged to the oolitic period. And instead 
of contradicting the formerly ascertained results, these facts 
now complete the paleeo-hi story of the class, and illustrate 
most beautifully the gradual introduction of the different 
groups of the animal kingdom upon the surface of our globe. 
For it remains true that the class of mammalia acquired a 
full development during the tertiary epoch only ; the tertiary 
types were preceded in the secondary epoch by these mar- 
supials, and in some sort foreshadowed, predicted by them. 

Classification of Mammalia. 179 

The marsupials being zoologically inferior, they are geologi- 
cally the first created. Their abnormal forms, the dispropor- 
tions of some of their limbs, illustrate the first evolution of 
the mammalian activity. Their bringing forth their young 
in an imperfect state of development, and the existence of an 
external pouch to protect that progeny, assign to them an in- 
ferior rank. The fact that there are among them carnivorous, 
insectivorous, and herbivorous types, indicates clearly that 
they combine these groups of which they are the prototype 
in the Creator's thought, and their precursors in time. 

As the development of the class went on, and the foresha- 
dowed groups appeared as distinct and independent manifesta- 
tions of the mammalian organization, the marsupialian group 
was preserved within the limits of its original conception up to 
our epoch, in which it stands as an odd group which reminds 
us of a past order of things. In the actual fauna, Marsupialia 
are an isolated type which has deceived and misled all the sys- 
tematic writers ; still combining characters of several other 
types, if it is not understood that they are prototypic, and 
the lowest, they will give rise to contests as to their position in 
the system. 

No facts illustrate better the immateriality of the relations 
which exist between the various groups of this class : they 
may foreshadow, they may prophetize, but they will continue 
to exist. There are no material transformations, no material 
permutations, from one group to another ; for if such was the 
case, those first created groups, combining those of a later 
appearance, would not be found possessing the same material 
attributes, the same circle of vital activity as before. On the 
other hand, when the foreshadowed groups appear, they lose 
their zoological importance, and accordingly are confined to a 
geographical province physically lower, to remind us of their 
low position in the system. 

| 2. But if Edentata are zoologically the lowest of the class, 
they should have been created the first in time, or at least be 
contemporaneous with Marsupialia. As far as our present 
knowledge respecting the fossil remains of mammals goes, 
Edentata are not known prior to the miocene strata of the 
tertiary epoch ; but in those very strata, their remains are so 

M 2 

180 (>n the Classification of Mammalia* 

numerous, and exhibit such a diversity of generic forms, that 
we must conclude from these facts that Edentata have ac- 
quired, if not the maximum of their development, at least a 
large portion of it, during the first period of their creation. 

This great development of Edentata, at the presumed dawn 
of their existence, is in contradiction with the general law 
which has presided over the development of all other groups 
of the animal kingdom : each group, each natural order or 
family, the history of which has been investigated in past 
times, has manifestly shewn a development parallel to that 
of the individual life : 1st, An early period, — corresponding to 
that of youth, — during which the group has but a small num- 
ber of representatives ; 2c?, A period of full development, — 
corresponding to that of the adult, — during which the group 
exhibits the greatest diversity which was in its power to as- 
sume ; 3d, Finally, there is a period of decline, — correspond- 
ing to old age and fall, — during which period the individuals 
are less numerous. In the class of Mammalia there are com- 
paratively few groups which have thus reached the third 
period of their history, and passed away from the surface of 
our earth. The majority have just attained their period of 
fullest development at the beginning of the human era, and 
are actually in existence upon the external surrounding crust 
of our planet. 

According to these facts, and satisfied that the systematic 
position which we have assigned to Edentata is natural, and 
in accordance with the general plan of the creation, we pre- 
dict that remains of Edentata will be found in the strata be- 
low the miocene ; that they will be found in secondary beds 
at least as low as the oolite, if not further down. If they 
prove to be of a decidedly lower zoological grade than Mar- 
supialia, they must have been introduced on earth before the 
latter ; and if parallel with them, they must have been con- 
temporaneous. In the actual era, the order of Edentata is in 
its period of decline : its representatives now living are much 
less numerous than the extinct ones already known. 

§ 3. The Pachydermata constitute another group, whose 
history chiefly belongs to past times. They are known to 
have existed as early as the eocene period ; the miocene is 
the period of their greatest development ; they diminish in 

On the Classification of Mammalia. 181 

number in the pliocene, and finally the living representatives 
are still less numerous. So that pachydermata are in the 
period of their decline, as well as the edentata. 

Now as far as is known, these two groups, Pachydermata 
and Edentata, are the only ones in the class of Mammalia 
whose circle of activity has been exhausted in geological 

The two series which we have established among pachy- 
derms will have to be carefully studied geologically. 

The oldest remains known of Sirenidia have been discovered 
in the lowest beds of the miocene period. 

The oldest remains of ruminants known, belong to the 
middle strata of the miocene period. 

Cetaceans are contemporaneous with the ruminants ; it 
being always understood that we speak of the actual state of 
our knowledge. 

Rodentia, which we consider the highest amongst Herbi- 
vora, are foreshadowed by Marsupialia, the second synthe- 
tical type. Rodentia make their first appearance at the be- 
ginning of the eocene period, the first of the tertiary epoch. 

And so do the Carnivora proper and Pinnipedia, parallel in 
their genetical development ; although zoologically speaking, 
Pinnipedia are lower, and synthetise the two groups of car- 
nivorous digitigrades and plantigrades. 

Insectivora, which are shadowed by both Edentata and Mar- 
supialia, are not known in the eocene : their remains, hitherto 
found, belong to the miocene and strata above. 

Quadrumana and Cheiroptera have left some of their re- 
mains in the middle strata of the eocene period. 

The annexed diagram is intended to sketch out the history 
of the class of Mammalia, prior to the epoch of mankind. 

§ 4. If we look now at the geographical distribution of 
Mammalia, which is regulated by laws, we may point out 
some facts of a very striking interest, and which corroborate 
the foundation of our classification. 

The globe and the animal kingdom were created for one an- 
other ; the globe, however, was made for the kingdom, matter 
being subordinate to life. During each of the geological ages, 
and even during each period or era, the physical features of 
the globe have assumed a peculiar character. The animal 

182 On the Classification of Mammalia. 

creation has likewise assumed a peculiar zoological character, 
always in a direct relation with the physical characters of the 
time and the special physical wants of the globe. 

There are two points of view to be taken into consideration 
when investigating the introduction of life upon the surface 
of our globe, but these we cannot discuss at length here : we 
must limit ourselves merely to the signalizing of them. 

1. Life, from its first manifestation upon the globe, may 
have undergone a gradual, slow, and continuous development ; 
in which case a single and unique creation, passing through 
divers metamorphoses to suft the wants of the globe, renew- 
ing itself without the necessity of a special creation at the be- 
ginning of each period, would seem the real doctrine. 

2. Life, after its first introduction on earth, might have 
ceased at the end of each period, and at the beginning of each 
one, a new creation called forth, purposely made to suit the 
physical wants of the new era. Thus numerous creations 
would have succeeded each other without any material con- 
nection, or any genetic relationship, but physically indepen- 
dent of each other. 

Both of these views have their defenders and opponents. 
The choice of one or the other is of no consequence in regard 
to the fact which we are now tracing, as soon as we can ad- 
mit that at each period the animal kingdom was in a direct 
relation with the physical wants of the globe. 

The physical wants of our planet went on increasing with 
time, both in number and importance ; and the same may be 
said of animal life. The relations of these two worlds are so 
intimate, that the zoological subordination of the groups will 
give us the relative physical superiority of the continents 
above one another ; and, vice versa, the relative physical su- 
periority of the continents will point to the zoological grada- 
tion of the groups composing the class of mammalia. 

Now let us look at the facts. The lowest Mammalia, the 
Monotremata, belong exclusively to Australia. Australia is 
physically the lowest continent. Marsupialia are also limited 
to the same continent. 

The next in grade after Monotremata are the Edentata 
proper, which belong chiefly to South America ; the Manidae 
and Orycteropodida? alone being African. South America 

On the Classification of Mammalia. 183 

and Africa rank above Australia ; and although Marsupialia 
are placed by us above Edentata generally, the consequence 
of their occurring in Australia does not contradict the as- 
sumption that Australia is physically lower than Africa and 
South America. The fact that the lowest among Edentata 
are Australian, and the highest among Marsupialia (the Didel- 
phidae) are South American, is very conclusive. 

The occurrence of the opossum in the southern part of the 
United States clearly indicates that this continent is physi- 
cally inferior to Europe and Asia. 

When comparing the relative superiority of the continents 
with each other, the comparison, in order to remain true, 
must be made independently of the influences of man. They 
must be taken at the dawn of their history, when in formation, 
during the epochs which have preceded the cradle of mankind. 
If America occupies a relatively low physical rank, that nation 
by which it has been taken possession of, by which it has 
been subdued and conquered, has changed its destinies by ap- 
plying to its elevation the power of its intellectual aptitudes. 

Although some few fossil remains of Marsupialia and 
Edentata occur out of the actual geographical provinces of 
these groups, the greatest number are found within the limits 
of the said provinces ; shewing that the order which now 
prevails at the surface of our globe, takes its roots in former 
ages ; that the same general laws which now prevail, have 
presided over the past. 

Amongst the normal groups of the class we have Cetaceans, 
the lowest, all aquatic ; as are likewise Sirenidia, Trichechidse, 
and Pinnipedia. The Pachyderms are tropical : their actual 
distribution on earth is to be referred to a past order of 
things, in order to be understood. The Ruminants, Rodents, 
Insectivora, and Carnivora, are distributed all over the globe 
in given proportions. 

A general glance at the mammalian fauna of North America 
strikes us by the preponderance in the number of species of the 
order Rodentia. The true grass-feeders, the Ruminantia and 
Pachydermata are in minority ; although the New World has 
been opposed to the Old, and called the continent of vegeta- 
tion, by contrast with that of anima ligation. The greatest 

184 On the Classification of Mammalia. 

Carnivora are absent from America : Carnivora are the most 
numerous where ruminants are most numerous, the former 
feeding chiefly upon the latter. 

Each group has a part to perform in the economy of nature. 
Carnivora, the most powerful in the animal creation, check 
the Ruminants, the most bulky and most clumsy of the terres- 
trial forms of the class, and partly the Rodents ; the Rodents, 
in their turn, check the arborescent vegetation, whilst Rumi- 
nants check chiefly the grass. Ruminants are constructed to 
walk on the ground ; whilst the organization of Rodents is 
adapted either for ascending trees, or for burrowing in the 
ground. Ruminants are timid, constantly in fear of becoming 
the prey of others, and have for their only retreat the depths 
of the forests, or the unbounded plains and deserts. 

The Insectivora feed upon Articulata, and are intended 
chiefly to check the never-resting class of Insects : they are 
adapted to divers situations ; for the aerial element, the sur- 
face of the soil, and under it, as their peculiar instinct will 
lead them to feed either on flying, creeping, or burrowing 
articulates. The Insectivora increase in number from the 
north to the equator, as the class of Insects does. 

Amongst the eccentrical types, the majority of the species 
inhabit the warm zone ; a very significant fact. Cheiroptera 
exist in both hemispheres, increasing in number from the arc- 
tic regions to the tropics. Quadrumana are chiefly tropical ; 
and so are Bradipodidse. Flying squirrels belong to the tem- 
perate and tropical zones. 

On the Reproduction of the Toad and Frog without the in- 
termediate stage of Tadpole. By Edward Joseph Lowe, 
Esq., F.G.S., F.R.A.S. 

The following brief remarks on the Toad (Bufo vulgaris) and the 
Frog {Rana temporaries) may perhaps be received with some degree 
of interest, as they are, I believe, contrary to the generally received 
notion of the procreation of these reptiles. Ray, and most natural- 
ists, at least, consider toads and frogs as oviparous animals, yet it 
is apparent that they are viviparous as well, or if they do not bring 
forth their young alive, have the power of reproduction in a differ- 
ent manner to the ova and subsequent tadpole. 

On the Reproduction of the Toad and Frog, 185 

Mr J. Higginbottom of Nottingham, who has paid great atten- 
tion to this subject, has clearly proved the development of the tad- 
pole to the perfect toad in situations wholly deprived of light, as I 
have through his kindness several times witnessed. My present re- 
marks are intended to show that occasionally frogs and toads are 
reproduced in localities where it would be impossible for the inter- 
mediate stage of tadpole to have any existence. 

1. Toads deposit spawn in cellars and young toads are after- 
wards observed. — Last summer several masses of spawn were pro- 
cured from my cellar, having been found deposited amongst decaying 
potatoes, &c, and subsequently young toads were noticed. The cellar 
is free from water, and at a considerable distance from any brook. 

2. Young toads are observed about hot-beds. — In the kitchen- 
garden at Highfield House (which is entirely walled round) young 
toads have been noticed about the cucumber and melon beds. The 
gardeners have been in the habit of bringing toads to these beds to 
destroy the insects ; these have continued amongst the warm damp 
straw all summer. It is after these beds have remained three or 
four months that the young ones have been noticed. Toads would 
have to travel nearly half a mile to reach this garden from the brook 
or lake, and also to mount a steep hill, besides taking the opportunity 
of coming through the door. Toads so small are not seen in any 
other part of the gardens. 

3. Young toads and frogs observed in abundance at the summit 
of another hill, whilst quite small. — During the past summer, espe- 
cially in the month of July, very many young toads and frogs were 
seen amongst the strawberry plants, apparently from a week to a 
month old. These might possibly have travelled from the brook a 
few hundred yards distant ; yet it is strange, that, with the excep- 
tion of these beds, no young toads could be found elsewhere in the 
garden. A number of full-grown toads are mostly to be seen about 
these beds. 

4. Young frogs dug out of the ground in the month of January. 
— In digging in the garden amongst the strawberry-beds (near 
where so many toads were observed last summer) in the middle of 
January in the present year, a nest of about a score young frogs 
were upturned. These were apparently three or four weeks old. 
This ground had been previously dug in the month of August and 
many strawberry plants buried ; it was amongst a mass of these 
plants in a state of partial decomposition that these young ones were 

5. Young frogs are bred in cellars where there is no water for 
tadpoles. — In mentioning this subject to Mr Joseph Sidebotham of 
Manchester (an active botanist), he informed me that young frogs, 
and in fact frogs of all sizes, were to be seen in his cellar amongst 
decaying dahlia tubers. The smallest of them were only about half 
the ordinary size of the young frog when newly developed from the 

186 Sclent'/ /ir Intelligence — Astronomy. 

tadpole. He further stated that there was no water in the cellar, 
and no means of young frogs entering, except by first coming into 
the kitchen, a mode of entry, if not impossible, highly improbable. 
Mr Sidebotham never found any spawn. 

It seems probable from the above, that frogs are occasionally 
born alive in situations where no water can be found for the spawn 
to bo deposited in, and that toads are either reproduced in the same 
manner, or from the egg directly. The latter mode seems most 
likely, owing to spawn having been found previously to the young 

Mr Higginbottom tells me, the same remark on the birth of the 
Triton, without the stage of tadpole, has been mentioned to him. 

These are the facts ; should the subject be deemed worthy of 
further investigation, I shall be glad to continue observations upon 
these reptiles during the present year, or to make any experiments 
that may be dtemed advisable. — {Phil. Magazine, vol, v., No. 34, 
4th Series, p. 466.) 



1. Relation between the Spots on the Sunand the Magnetic Needle. 
— According to observations made by M. Rodolphe Wolf, director 
of the Observatory at Berne, it appears that the number of spots 
on the sun have their maximum and minimum at the same time 
as the variations of the needle. It follows from this, that the 
cause of these two chancres on the sun and on the earth must be the 


same ; and consequently, from this discovery, it will be possible to 
solve several important problems whose solution has hitherto never 
been attempted. 

2. On the Periodic Return of the Solar Spots. — M. Wolf, director 
of the Observatory of Berne, mentions in a letter to M. Arago, 
that he has recently been engaged in researches on the solar spots, 
and has arrived at some interesting conclusions on the subject. By 
a comparison of all the observations of the spots made from the epoch 
of their discovery down to the present time, he has discovered that 
the number visible upon the surface of the sun in the course of a 
year, recurs at regular intervals of time. The mean duration of the 
period comprised between two maxima or minima, he finds to be 
1 1*111 =b 0-038 years, which, he says, agrees much better with the 
variations in declination of the magnetic needle, than the correspond- 
ing period of 10 J years assigned by M. Lamont. He has also 
ascertained that the years during which the spots have been most 
numerous, have been also the driest and most fertile, agreeably to a 
remark of Sir William Heischel. — (Proceedings of the Royal Astro- 
nomical Society.) 

3. Lunar Atmospheric Thd*.-*- The facta derived a few years since 

Scientific Intelligence — Meteorology. 187 

from the barometrical observations at St Helena, shewing the existence 
of a lunar atmospheric tide, have been corroborated in the last year by 
a similar conclusion drawn by Captain Elliot of the Madras Engineers, 
from the barometrical observations at Singapore. The influence of 
the moon's attraction on the atmosphere, produces, as might be ex- 
pected, a somewhat greater effect on the barometer at Singapore, 
in lat. 1° 19', than at St Helena, in lat. 15° 57'. The barometer 
at the equator appears to stand on the average about 0,006 in. 
(more precisely 0,0057, in lat. 1°19'), higher at the moon's culmina- 
tions than when she is six hours distant from the meridian. 


4. Evaporation and Condensation. — The total quantity of dew 
believed to fall in England is supposed to amount to five inches an- 
nually. The average fall of rain is about twenty-five inches. Mr 
Glaisher states the amount of evaporation at Greenwich to have 
amounted to five feet annually for the past five years, and supposes 
three feet about the mean evaporation all over the world. On this 
assumption the quantity of actual moisture, raised in the shape of 
vapour from the surface of the sea alone, amounts to no less 
than 60,000 cubic miles annually, or nearly 164 miles per day. 
According to Mr Laidlay, the evaporation at Calcutta is about 
fifteen feet annually ; that between the Cape of Good Hope and Cal- 
cutta averages in October and November, nearly three-quarters of an 
inch daily ; betwixt 10° and 20° in the Bay of Bengal it was found 
to exceed an inch daily. Supposing this to be double the average 
throughout the year, we shall, instead of three, have eighteen feet of 
evaporation annually ; or were this state of matters to prevail all 
over the world, an amount of three hundred and sixty thousand cubic 
miles of water raised in vapour from the ocean alone. — (American 
Annual of Scientific Discovery , 1853, p. 371.) 

5. The Amount of Oxygen in the World. — . w ' Let us for an in- 
stant contemplate," says Faraday,* " the enormous amount of oxygen 
employed in the function alone of respiration, which may be con- 
sidered in the light of a slow combustion. For the respiration of 
human beings, it has been calculated that no less than one thousand 
millions of pounds of oxygen are daily required, and double that 
quantity for the respiration of animals, whilst the processes of com- 
bustion and fermentation have been calculated to require one thou- 
sand millions of pounds more. But at least double the whole pre- 
ceding quantity, that is to say, twice four thousand millions of pounds 
of oxygen, have been calculated to be necessary altogether, including 
the amouut necessary in the accomplishment of the never-ceasing 
functions of decay. 

As stated in pounds, we can hardly create to ourselves any defi- 

* Faraday's Lectures on the Non-Metallic Elements. 


Scientific Intelligence — Mineralogy. 

nite idea of this enormous amount ; the aggregate is too vast, too 
overpowering. It is scarcely to be grasped by our senses when re- 
duced to tons, of which it corresponds with no less than 7,142,847 
per day. 

Amount of oxygen required daily. 
Whole population, . . . 1,000,000,000 

Animals, .... 2,000,000,000 

Combustion and fermentation, . 1,000,000,000 


Oxygen required daily, = 8,000,000,000 lb. 
7,142,857 in a day. 
2,609,285,714 in a year. 
260,928,571,400 in a century. 
15,655,714,284,000 in 6000 years. 
Whole quantity, 1,178,158,000,000,000. 

Such being the daily requisition of oxygen in the economy of na- 
ture, how great must be the total quantity existing in the world ! 
Why, between one- half and two-thirds of the crust of this globe and 
its inhabitants are composed of oxygen. This will be manifested to 
you most conveniently by inspecting a diagram wherein the demon- 
stration is made clear. 

Amount of oxygen in the world. 

Phos. lime, 

M ) 


7 ( 4 






I Oxygen is J or 


1 } i 



Ocean and waters, 



i ) 


of the globe. 

6. Wohler on the Passive State of Meteoric Iron. — Wohler 
states that he has observed the curious fact, that the greater portion 
of the meteoric iron he has had an opportunity of examining, is in the 
so-called passive state ; that is to say, it does not reduce the copper 
from a solution of the neutral sulphate of copper, but remains bright 
and uncoppered therein. But if touched in the solution with a piece 

Scientific Intelligence — Mineralogy. 189 

of common iron, the reduction of the copper commences immediately 
upon the meteoric iron. It also becomes active instantaneously on 
the addition of a drop of acid to the solution of copper ; but if the 
reduced copper be filed away, the new surface is again passive. I 
convinced myself by experiments on meteoric iron, which had 
never been in contact with nitric acid, and nevertheless was passive, 
that this state could not have been produced by the corrosion of the 
surface by the acid, for the production of the Widmannstattean 
figures. I thought first that this deportment might be employed as 
a means of distinguishing true meteoric iron ; but it soon appeared 
that some undoubtedly genuine meteoric iron was not in this state. 
Seven specimens, from different parts of the world, examined, were 
found to be passive ; six reducing, or active, and four which do not 
become coated with copper immediately, but on which the reduction 
gradually commences after a longer or shorter contact with the 
cupreous solution, and usually from one point, or from the margins 
of the fluid. 

These peculiarities appear to have no connection, either with the 
presence of nickel, or the property of forming regular figures on cor- 
rosion. I also found that an artificially-prepared alloy of iron and 
nickel, which on corrosion acquired a damasked surface, reduced the 
copper from solution in the same manner as common iron. Whether 
this state is proper to all meteoric iron on its reaching the earth, 
and, as may have happened in the case of the active kinds, have 
only been lost in the course of perhaps a very long period of time, 
and what probable opinion can be formed of these phenomena, must 
be settled by experiments and observations of a more extended 
nature. — (Poggendorfs Annalen.) 

7. Crystallisation of Glass. — Some interesting experiments on 
this subject have been made by M. Leydolt in the course of his investi- 
gations upon the crystallisation of the silicates. He had examined 
agate by subjecting it to the dissolving action of fluohydric acid, 
and obtained a surface with projecting crystals of quartz, that were 
left untouched by the acid. On subjecting glass in the same manner, 
he was surprised to see that it was far from homogeneous in its tex- 
ture. All the kinds of glass examined contain more or less perfectly 
distinct crystals, regular and transparent, encased in an amorphous 
base. The crystals were brought out by exposing it to the vapours 
of fluohydric acid, and vapour of water, and arresting it when the 
crystals appear ; the amorphous part is a little the most soluble in 
the acid. M. Leydolt observes also, that some natural crystals pure 
and transparent, and apparently homogeneous, present similar defi- 
ciency in homogeneity with the glass, and he has the subject under 
further examination. — {American Annual of Scientific Discovery, 
1853, p. 210.) 

8. On Diopside and Molybdate of Lead, Furnace Products ; by 
J. Fr. L. Hausmann (Acad. Sci. Gottingen ; V Institute No. 956, 

90 Scientific Intelligence — Mineralogy. 

April 28, p. 131). — The crystals of diopside were from a Swedish 
furnace at Gammelbo in Westmannland. They are two or three lines 
long ; translucent or transparent ; grayish, pearly, to greenish or red- 
dish gray. 

G. = 3-127; H. = 6; composition — 

Si Al Mg Ca Fe Mn Na K 

54-69 1-54 15-37 23-56 008 1-66 1-94 1-15 = 100 

corresponding to the general formula, Ki 3 Si 2. 

The molybdate of lead was found in a reverberatory furnace at 
Bleiberg in Carinthia, in crystals very much like the natural crys- 

9. Formation of Arragonite, C 'ale-spar, Brochantite, and Mala- 
chite. — M. Becquerel some time since shewed that calc-spar may be 
obtained in primary rhombohedrons, through the slow reaction of a 
solution of bicarbonate of soda, feeble in degree (2°), on laminae of 
sulphate of lime or gypsum. On experimenting with a solution 
marking five or six degrees, the carbonate of lime crystallised in the 
trimetric system, or in other words as arragonite. It is hence not 
surprising that arragonite should be found in gypseous and saliferous 
deposits, like those of Spain, Salzburg, and elsewhere. 

Calc-spar may also be obtained by the action of a solution of 
potash marking 10°, on gypsum, the solution being contained in a 
flask imperfectly closed. In this case the carbonic acid is derived 
from the atmosphere. 

Brochantite (subsulphate of copper) is easily obtained, looking 
like native specimens, by putting a piece of porous limestone in con- 
tact with a saturated solution of sulphate of copper. The Brochantite 
is deposited upon the limestone in small crystalline tubercles along 
with the crystals of gypsum. 

Malachite (Cu C + Cu H) may be obtained by the reaction of 
coarse porous limestone on a solution of nitrate of copper, marking 
12° or 15°, and when the action ceases, by plunging the mass into 
a solution of an alkaline bicarbonate marking 5° or 6°. The piece of 
limestone in the first case becomes covered with subacetate of copper ; 
and this subacetate, in the next step, changes to malachite, or if 
prolonged, to a double carbonate of copper and soda. The mala- 
chite is in small silky globules. 

10. On the Artificial Formation of Malachite ; by M. Henri 
Rose (Konigl. Preuss. Akad., Oct. 1851). — When a solution of 
sulphate of copper is precipitated in the cold by carbonate of soda 
or potash, the precipitate is at first voluminous, and of a blue colour ; 
but left for a while and then washed, it becomes more dense and of 
a green colour. It has the composition of green malachite as found 
in nature. 

Scientific Intelligence — Botany. 191 


11. The Effect of very Low Temperature on Vegetation. — In 
1838, I published, says M. A. de Candolle, in the Bulletin de la 
Classe d' Agriculture de Geneve (No. 120, p. 171), in an article on 
the intense cold of January 1838, the following remarks. After first 
alluding to the observations of Pictet and Maurice, who found the 
temperature of the centre of a chestnut tree below zero, and also the 
experiments of M. Ch. Coindet, who after a prolonged cold had ex- 
tracted from the middle of a large tree small crystals of ice. These 
trees are however not dead. I have myself, after a cold but little 
intense, seen crystals of ice in the interior of the buds of several 
trees which have not suffered from it. Young branches, the buds 
of many trees, and the leaves of the plants of our country, are in 
winter often penetrated, beyond doubt, with a cold several degrees 
below zero (centigrade) ; and although the viscous liquids of the 
slender tubes congeal with difficulty, it must frequently happen that 
congelation takes place, without the plant or the organ perishing. 
Thus cold does not kill vegetation by a mechanical action proceeding 
from the congelation of the liquid, as some naturalists pretend. "We 
must recognise rather a physiological action, that the vitality of the 
tissue is destroyed by a certain degree of cold followed by a certain 
degree of heat according to the peculiar nature of each plant. The 
vegetable and animal kingdom, according to this view, will act alike. 
In the same manner as the gangrene that sets in after the thawing 
of a frozen part causes the death of an animal tissue, so the change 
or putrefaction which follows a rapid thawing will be the principal 
cause of the death of the vegetable tissue. It is well known in prac- 
tice how to manage the transitions of temperature to preserve the or- 
gans of vegetables. Since 1838, until my connection with the Academy 
of Geneva ceased, I stated in my annual lectures that cold may 
act in two ways on vegetation, either 'physically, by the contraction 
or congelation of the liquids which often does not kill them ; and 
physiologically, by an action upon the tissues and upon vegetable life, 
which the laws of physics do not account for. The most striking 
example of this last is the immediate death of hothouse plants when 
exposed to a temperature of -f 1 or + 2° C, which causes no con- 
gelation. The action of the same degree of temperature is very 
different on two allied species, and sometimes on two varieties of 
the same species. 

12. Sleep of Plants in the Arctic Regions. — Mr Seemann, the 
naturalist of Kellett's Arctic expedition, states a curious fact respecting 
the condition of the vegetable world during the long day of the Arctic 
summer. Although the sun never sets whilst it lasts, plants make no 
mistake about the time when, if it be not night, it ought to be, but 
regularly as the evening hours approach, and when a midnight sun 
is several degrees above the horizon, droop their leaves and sleep 
even as they do at sunset in more favoured climes. " If man," observes 
Mr Seemann, " should ever reach the pole and be undecided which 

1 9 2 Scientific Intelligence — Zoology. 

way to turn, when his compass has become sluggish, his timepiece 
out of order, the plants which he may happen to meet will shew him 
the way ; their sleeping leaves tell him that midnight is at hand, and 
that at that time the sun is standing in the north. — (American An- 
nual of Scientific Discovery, p. 231.) 


13. Professor Agassiz on the Colour of Animals. — Professor 
Agassiz is of opinion that the coloration of the lower animals living 
in water, depend upon the condition, and particularly upon the depth 
and transparency of the water in which they live : that the colora- 
tion of the higher types of animals is intimately related to their struc- 
ture ; and that the change of colour which is produced by age in many 
animals is connected with structural changes. Coloration is valuable 
as an indication of structure ; and it is a law universally true of 
vertebrated animals, that they have the colour of the back darker 
than that of the sides ; and that the same system of coloration pre- 
vails in all the species of a genus, partially developed in some, but 
recognisable when a large number of species is examined. 

14. The Tsetse, or Zimb, of South Africa, — The Tsetse is the 
name given to an insect found in the interior of South Africa. The 
most curious fact about this insect is, that while its sting is harm- 
less to man and wild animals, it is certain destruction to horses, 
cattle, sheep, dogs, or any other domesticated brute, except goats and 
young calves. Several instances are known where all the cattle, 
horses, and dogs, of a traveller have been swept off by it. A horse 
was taken among them by a doubter; about fifty settled on him, 
and immediately he began to lose flesh ; in eleven days he was 
dead. When an ox is bitten, at once the countenance stares, the 
eyes run, he loses strength, swells under the jaw, staggers, grows 
blind, and becomes emaciated, which continues sometimes for 
months, when death ensues. Upon removing the skin, a great 
many air-bubbles are found on the surface of the body, under the 
cellular membrane. The fat is of an oily, glassy consistence, and 
of a greenish-yellow colour. The heart is soft and pale, lungs and 
liver diseased, and the gall-bladder unusually distended with bile. 
The muscles are flabby, the blood contains very little colouring 
matter, and not a pailful is found in the body. There is no such 
thing as becoming accustomed to them, and the natives in the loca- 
lities where they abound, are unable to raise a single domestic ani- 
mal. In the same districts, elephants, buffaloes, zebras, gnus, &c, 
live unaffected by the tsetse. A dog fed on the meat of game, 
lives ; one reared on milk, falls a victim to them. It is said that 
game meat is possessed of a peculiar acid found but sparingly in 
tame animals ; perhaps this may be the antiseptic. But then why 
do calves who subsist on milk escape ? Sometimes an entire herd of 
cattle is cut off, excepting the calves, and these follow likewise if 
kept in the region for a year or two. — (American Geographical 




Indications of Glacial Action in North Wales. By Sir 
Walter C. Trevelyan. In a Letter addressed to Pro- 
fessor Jameson. 

Wallington, Morpeth, 14eA July 1853. 

My dear Sir, — Several years ago, when in North Wales, 
I made notes of several indications I observed of glacial ac- 
tion ; and as some of them have not, I think, been noticed by 
other observers, I send yon a copy of some of the notes I made 
at the time (in September and October 1844), thinking that, 
if you should consider them worth a place in your Journal, 
they may interest some of your readers, and draw attention to 
localities which would, I think, repay further examination. 

On Snowdon, on the west side of the small lake at the foot 
of the bold precipice of Clogwyn dur Arddu, is an enormous 
moraine of large angular fragments, derived from the peak 
from which it is separated by the lake ; its position can only 
be accounted for by the deep interval having been filled with 
ice, over the surface of which the fragments of rock had fallen. 
Some of the rocks at the base of the peak above the lake, and 
by the side of the stream by which its waters escape, have 
been rounded and scratched by the action of ice. 

In Cwm Llan, at the eastern foot of Snowdon, is a terminal 
moraine, the last probably left there by the melting glacier ; 
it stretches across the termination of the Cwm in a semi- 
circular form, and incloses several acres. The exterior slope 
is about double the height of the interior, probably owing to 

VOL. LV. NO. CX. — OCTOBER 1853. N 

194 Indications of Glacial Action in Xorth Wales. 

the accumulation against the latter of debris brought clown 
by winter rains, for there is no stream running into the Cwm. 
The rocks on the side of the Cwm are rounded, scratched, 
and polished. 

At the head of the pass of Nant Francon, near Llyn Ogwen, 
on rocks on the south side of the Ogwen, are curious glacial 
markings crossing each other at right angles. The deepest 
groovings, and those which appear to be the most ancient 
(the polish and minor scratches having disappeared), indicate, 
I think, the existence of a glacier ranging down the valley 
from Llyn Ogwen. These groovings are crossed by smaller 
scratches and polishing, which appear to be more recent, and 
to have been caused by a glacier descending from Llyn Idwal ; 
which, originating at a higher elevation, may possibly have 
continued to exist for some years after the disappearance of 
that in Llyn Ogwen, both having previously been united in 
one glacier at this point. 

The marks of glacial action are very frequent about Cader 
Idris. At the base of the north peak of the mountain is a 
small lake nearly filled by torrent-borne debris, and in front 
of it a considerable transverse moraine, and also lateral ones, 
as there are also near Llyn-y-Gader, at the north-west base 
of the principal height. These moraines are very extensive, 
and visible at a considerable distance, as was well shewn in 
Glover's Panorama of Cader Idris, and in the engraving of 
it, where they are described as " immense beds of lava." 
Great part of the moraines are quite bare, and form a very 
striking scene of desolation ; they are formed in parts of 
enormous angular fragments, as of the wreck of a mountain. 

In the neighbourhood of Barmouth I traced the marks of 
glacial action and boulders to the height of about 1450 feet 
above the sea. The marks indicate a glacier coming down 
the valley from Cader Idris ; and from the great height at 
which they appear, and the direction of the marks after they 
have passed over the summit ridge, would also tend to shew 
that at one period of the glacial era great part of the country 
had been covered with ice, and that it was not merely limited 
to the mountain valleys. 

There is hardly a valley in North Wales, as in most moun- 

Mammalia of the Fish River Bush, South Africa. 195 

tainous countries of the north of Europe, in which decided 
marks of glacial action may not be observed, but I think I 
have mentioned above some of the most remarkable cases. 
Yours very truly, 

W. C. Tkevblyan. 

To Professor Jameson. 

On the Mammalia of the Fish River Bush, South Africa, 
with notices of their Habits. By Mr William Black, 
Staff Assistant-Surgeon. Communicated by the Author. 

(Continued from p. 83.) 

The Elephant and Rhinoceros have years ago left the re- 
treats of the Fish River Bush. The present Colonel Arm- 
strong recollects, when as a subaltern stationed atFort Brown, 
of passing through a herd of elephants on the Koonap Hill ; 
and it was the common practice for the men of the detach- 
ment there in his time to hunt them on the Committee's Flats 
in the valley of the Ecca. A solitary sea-cow, or Hippopo- 
tamus, here and there, still lingers in the Fish River, below 
Trumpeter's Drift, and there still remain several of them 
in the Keiskamma. 

The Buffalo still haunts, though in few numbers, the bushy 
kloofs and sides of the hills between the Grass-Kop and Com- 
mittee's and Double Drift, and one or two have been killed 
in that neighbourhood, since the last war, by some boers living 
between the two posts. They are hunted with dogs, which 
bring them to bay, so as to afford a good shot behind the 
shoulder, or about the ear. The forehead is impenetrable, 
the brain being there protected by an enormous thickness of 
bone, forming the standing for the horns. They are exces- 
sively savage when wounded, and sometimes they evince a 
cunning which will prompt them to feign death, so as to de- 
lude the unwary to venture too near, when the infuriated brute 
summons up his strength, and rushes on his adversary to his 
almost certain destruction. 

The fawn-coloured Koodoo {Antelope Strep siceros), with 
its spiral-twisted horns, — absent in the female, — one of the 
handsomest of the large bucks, may be observed in small herds 


106 On the Mammalia of the 

or solitary about the Fish River Rand, where they graze in the 
open glade, on the summit of that range, but their refuge is 
in the bushy kloofs of the Kinga. Their spoor, horse-shoe 
shaped, and with the cloven mark in its axis, may often be 
seen leading from thence to the banks of the Fish River on 
one side, or the Koonap on the other, in search of water ; 
though the gratification of this appetite does not appear to be 
daily necessary in any kinds of buck. They also frequent the 
country between Double Drift and the Grass-Kop, and that 
eastward of the Fish River, and some have been seen up as 
far as Liewfontein, on the road to Fort Beaufort. They come 
out to feed in the early mornings and late evenings in the 
open spaces of the bush, and also browse on particular kinds of 
delicate shrubs, while their spoor may be seen covering the 
ground in such spots. During the heat of the day they lie 
down in the recesses and cool shade of some bushy kloof, near 
where they had been feeding. In wet and cloudy weather 
they are less shy, and like most bucks seem then to dislike 
the shelter of the bush, it is said from the dripping of the 
water through the foliage. In such weather the sportsman 
can easily follow the spoor and need not desist from his toil 
during the day, as probably he may at length come upon the 
animal or herd feeding. In dry weather, it is rather arduous 
sport. Sometimes they may accidentally be discovered about 
sunrise out feeding, and in such a case great caution must be 
used in approaching them, from their acute sense of smell 
and hearing. Its ear is large and lobed, and well adapted 
for detecting the approach of danger, especially from wind- 
ward. Various covers of small bush, hillocks, ant-heaps, &c, 
may be employed to obstruct their seeing your approach ; 
and some people have actually taken off their shoes and crept 
on their hands and knees to get within gunshot. Should 
the animal, however, get alarmed, his bound is fine, clearing 
the bush to his own height, and dashing down thus by re- 
peated leaps, deep into the hollows of some contiguous kloof, 
whence being in a state of alarm it would be vain to follow 
him. The boer proceeds to hunt him otherwise, by travers- 
ing the country on horseback, till he finds a fresh spoor, 
which is followed through every difficulty of ground and 

Fish River Bush, South Africa. 197 

bush, at the imminent risk of the clothes of an unaccustomed 
stranger being torn into shreds by the prickly thorns of the 
shrubbery. When the morning's spoor is traced, or the ani- 
mal has been seen unalarmed on entering a kloof, the dogs 
are fetched, and some of the hunting party enter and station 
themselves about the head of the kloof, while the dogs are 
led by another of the party into the bottom, and are driven 
up so as to turn out the animal, which flies before them, and 
passes, perhaps, within gunshot of some of the former party. 
A well-known boer was accustomed in this case to follow on 
the spoor alone, being stripped to the skin, and carrying 
merely his bandelier round his waist, and his gun in his hand, 
with his tobacco-pipe, which he lit every now and then to 
observe how the wind set. Should it be with him he rested 
till it took a more advantageous direction, when he carried 
on the track farther through the bush. As the breaking of 
a twig might be heard by the wakeful animal, or the rustle of 
the thorns on his clothes, he had stripped himself naked. So 
following on by cautious degrees, every now and then light- 
ing his pipe and ascertaining the course of the wind, he would 
at last come right upon the koodoo, lying in repose in his 
cover in the bush, and have ample leisure to take a fatal aim. 
The flesh forms the richest venison of any of the bucks of this 
part of the colony, and what is not required for immediate 
use is cut into strips, hung up and dried in the sun, forming 
excellent biltung. The skin, as large and longer than an ox's, 
is cleaned and pegged out on the ground to dry in the sun, and 
is afterwards used for various farm purposes by the boer, or 
sold, — chiefly being useful as the best material for vorslaghts, 
the lash of their great waggon whips. Its value may be about 
£1 a skin, which further makes excellent leather when dressed, 
&c, for shoes. 

The next largest buck frequenting this bush is the powerful 
Bushbuck (Tragelaphus,^t. sylvalica), of a dark brown colour, 
having black spiral horns with a ridge, the number of twists 
corresponding to its age. It is further recognized by half-a- 
dozen white spots on the hind quarters, and one on the cheek? 
a short tail, white underneath. He wants the usual lachrymal 
sinus, like- the koodoo, the large lachrymal line of the buck's 

198 On the Mammalia of the 

head here being quite flat on its aspect to the cheek. The 
female has no horns, like all those of that sex of the ante- 
lope kind inhabiting the Fish "River Bush, and she is seldom 
seen. The rump and mammary region are white. The 
male and female of all the smaller bucks are distinguished in 
the country as ram and ewe, while in the koodoo and other 
larger ones, they are called bull and cow. Inguinal sacs 
are also possessed by the male bushbuck. It frequents the 
deepest and thickest kloofs and bush, and is very shy, 
though extremely ferocious when wounded, and can inflict 
serious wounds with its sharp-pointed horns. The Hotten- 
tot or boer, knowing the habitat of any animal, as they are 
generally solitary, stations himself by dawn in some little 
krantze or rock under cover of a bush overlooking a kloof, 
and silently awaits the buck coming out to feed at sunrise 
at the edge of the bush, in the open space or glade, and per- 
chance may obtain a view within gunshot. In very dry wea- 
ther they come down from the higher kloofs and live in the 
thick lofty bush on the banks of the river, so that the water 
is nearer ; and here the spot they frequent on the banks may 
become known to the hunter by the frequent spoor, which is 
lancet-shaped and marked with the cleft in its axis, which 
he takes advantage of by stationing himself within proper 
range on the opposite bank, and awaiting the buck's time of 
repairing to drink in the evenings. They may also be started 
by following a morning's fresh spoorto their cover in the bush, 
either with or without dogs ; and an opportunity for a shot 
may be obtained as the buck rises and bounds off, which he 
does with remarkable power and speed, clearing much over 
his own height. A favourite plan of hunting bucks in Lower 
Albany adopted by the English farmers, where a kloof can 
be found separate and surrounded by open country, is in sta- 
tioning the party with their guns around it at various dis- 
tances, and sending in beaters up from the bottom of the 
kloof to scare the game, which rush out according to their 
number from the edge of the bush, and afford fine practice. 
A common plan adopted by the Hottentot in the shooting of 
smaller bucks of all kinds, is in discovering an open spot of 
ground which, from the spoor and quantity of fresk dung, he 

Fish River Bush, South Africa. 199 

judges is a favourite feeding ground, and excavating a hol- 
low in a close bush within range of this with his knife, where- 
in he conceals himself before sunrise with his gun, ready 
on the watch for a buck displaying himself in the open glade 
which he commands. These coloured people are peculiarly 
expert in this stealthy kind of sport, which skill their rebel 
brethren have turned to a too fatal use in the war; they other- 
wise will walk cautiously over a favourable tract of bush 
country, where there are clumps and open glades, and tak- 
ing views every now and then from behind different shel- 
ters, till they by good fortune espy in the morning or even- 
ing some unwary buck out feeding on the edge of a clump, 
and are almost certain to bring back one or two on such 
favourable occasions. A knowledge of the habitats of the 
various smaller bucks can be readily acquired by observation 
of spoor and the presence of their dung — their freshness, or 
otherwise, leading one to form an opinion of the proximity 
of the game. During the day, when they are lying down 
from the shelter of the sun, they may be flushed by good dogs 
who understand them, when one may get a chance of a shot, 
as they rush out of the bush and bound off ; but this mode of 
sport requires a great rapidity of aim to be very successful, 
as their speed is very great. 

Showery cloudy weather is the best to follow this sport; the 
bucks then leave the denser, cooler kloofs, and frequent the 
more open bush for the fresh grass and other green food. 
The breaking of a fore leg does not prevent the entire escape 
of a wounded buck, but injury to a hinder limb cripples it 
much more, though not to the extent but that probably a 
good dog would be required to capture him. From the na- 
ture of this part of the country, it is impossible to course 
them, and all common dogs cannot attain the speed of the 
buck, nor are they able to clear obstacles which the latter do 
by most astonishing bounds. Next to the koodoo, perhaps, 
bushbuck venison may be reckoned as palatable as any ; but 
all these smaller bucks are devoid of fatty materials, and the 
flesh is very dry, so that to render the meat quite acceptable, 
it requires to be dressed in peculiar ways. The English far- 
mers sometimes, when sport is no object, and the mere pro- 

200 On ike Mammalia of the 

curing of the skins and flesh for sale or consumption their 
aim, adopt a more wholesale method of capturing the smaller 
bucks of all kinds, and one that requires no expenditure 
of time. The River Bush is the most frequented resort of 
these animals during dry seasons, and their resort in any fa- 
vourable numbers is easily ascertained by the quantity of 
spoor. Certain narrower tracts of it are bushed in after the 
manner of a kraal-fence, right across from the river bank to 
the outside edge of the bush, say for 80 yards, except a single 
narrow opening through which the bucks must pass when 
traversing the length of the bush to or fro. At this spot a 
trap is set, a hole is first dug, and a long spring of bush tree 
fixed in the ground close by, to the upper end of which is 
tied a riem or rope, having a running noose at the lower end, 
which is fixed by a small easily-loosened stick, round the mar- 
gin of the hole, the spring being then bent down to its ut- 
most. The opening of the hole is covered by other smaller 
sticks, over which are placed loose grass and rubbish to hide 
its artificial appearance. The buck in passing through puts 
his foot on the covering, which the pressure bruises down, 
the noose is liberated, the leg caught, and up springs the 
bender, and so holds the animal in spite of all his endeavours 
to escape till the poacher arrives. This plan is recommended 
from its not injuring the skin of the animal by any wound, 
so that its market value is not lessened. The Caffres in this 
country sometimes use a nearly similar method, bushing across 
a space of the river bush, leaving a single opening where 
a deep hole is dug, in the bottom of which is fixed an upright 
sharp-pointed stake, and the opening of the hole is covered 
lightly with sticks and grass. The buck, instead of being 
ginned, is here staked. The skins of all these smaller bucks 
are valuable, being, when prepared w r ith the panion, made 
into carosses, bed-covers, carpets, &c, for use in the colony, 
and further form very fine leather stuff. Their usual selling 
price in the Graham's Town market is from one shilling to 
one shilling and sixpence. 

In all these smaller bucks the stomach has the four cavities 
of the ruminant. The paunch contains a large quantity of 
semifluid half-digested vegetable matter, the reticulated ca- 

Fish River Bush, South Africa. 201 

vity the same, which in the maniplus, however, is quite dry, 
preparatory to the chymification effected in the true stomach. 
The food in the fourth cavity is similar, but more liquefied 
than in the first two cavities. The caecum is large, contains no 
formed faeces, and the small intestine enters into it at right 
angles to its axis by a small constricted opening, situated 
about three inches from the cul-de-sac extremity. The colon 
is much narrower than the caecum, and at its commencement 
performs two complete circular folds in a separate plane of 
peritoneum, before becoming a movable free viscus in the 
abdominal cavity. The spleen is not larger than a crown- 
piece, flat, and lies against the left surface of the stomach. 
The pancreas is also small and flat in shape. The smallness 
of the former organ is probably commensurate with the large 
circulation of the intestinal tube, affording sufficient amount 
of portal blood for the liver, and with this circulation being 
in these animals in a state of almost constant activity, and 
thus affording a constant supply ; while the periodical state 
of these matters in the carnivora may afford greater ground 
for a larger supplementary organ to receive an unrequired 
influx on the stomach and intestines, and sustain a steady sup- 
ply of materials for the liver to elaborate into bile for an en- 
suing period. 

The Dui-Ru (Cephalophus) , so called from its bounding 
mode of progression, is a species of antelope, and rather nu- 
merous in the Fish River Bush, where it inhabits the darker- 
coloured ground covered with clumpy patches of bush. Both 
its spoor and dung are peculiar from the others, and its ha- 
bitats consequently become known by these means. It has 
beautiful shining dun-coloured hair, short erect horns, with 
three or four annulations at the base, and is marked by a 
black stripe on the forehead and nose, and an S- shaped streak 
beneath each eye, indicating the situation of the orifice of the 
lachrymal sinus. It has a short tail, white underneath. Its 
speed is very great ; in fact swifter than any other kind 
of the smaller bucks of the colony, which is attained by its 
numerous bounds, each clearing about 30 feet of level ground. 
As an object of mere sport, it has very great chances in its 
favour for escape. Its skin forms good carosses, and its 

202 On the Mammalia of the 

capture for this object is effected by the various means above 

The (7r/t'sfo*cfcorGriessteenbuck (Tragulus), rather smaller 
than the dui-ru, takes its colonial name from the reddish- 
gray coloured skin. Its horns are short, straight, and smooth, 
and it possesses no tail. Inguinal sac in the male, four teats 
in the female, and a lachrymal sinus, are further characteristics 
of its antelope species. It inhabits a part of the bush-belt 
where the ground is sandstone and clayey, and of a colour 
apparently assimilated to that of the fur. It is far inferior to 
the dui-ru in speed, being apparently only gifted with running. 
Its skin is scarcely so valuable as that of the dui-ru. 

The Steenbuck or Bleekbuck (Tragulus) is about the size 
of the dui-ru, and frequents bush growing chiefly on sandy 
clay ground. Its fur is of a shining reddish-yellow colour, 
the belly white, and the mammary region bounded by a black 
border on each side. It has two black stripes on the forehead 
and one on the nose. The horns are erect, short and smooth, 
and there is no tail. It partakes in a great measure of pe- 
culiarities proper to the dui-ru and griesbuck. Lachrymal 
sinus also is present. Its fur is less valuable than either of 
the other two, from the coarse nature of the hair, and in con- 
sequence little employed for carosses, but the skin makes as 
good leather as the others. Its speed is intermediate be- 
tween the two former, but its appearance in a natural state 
is prettier than either. Pairs are generally found together, 
or may be started by the clogs from bushes not far separate ; 
in the totality they are not so numerous as the other two. 

The excretory orifice of the lachrymal sinus is single in 
the griesbuck, and opens in a black spot beneath the eye on 
the check. The buccal aspect of the lachrymal bones in this 
and the dui-ru and bleekbuck is hollowed for the reception of 
the black-coloured lacrymal sinus, which appears to abound in 
dark pigmentary matter like sepia, but the excreted fluid when 
seen is colourless. This gland has no connection with the 
orbit or eye, and its excretory ducts are single in the gries- 
buck and bleekbuck, but open by many pores in the S-shaped 
black stripe on the cheek of the dui-ru. If any use is to be 
assigned to it as possessed by these three specie* of ante- 

Fish River Bush, South Africa. 203 

lopes, on what grounds is it dispensed with in the bushbuck 
and koodoo, which inhabit this bush-belt also l It cannot be 
for any object connected with the lubrication of the eyeball, 
as it is placed underneath it, so that its anatomy throws no 
light apparently on its function. 

The Wild Pig of the Fish River Bush (Phasco cheer us) is 
seen in two varieties, the larger of a dirty white colour en- 
tirely, and possessing three excessively-developed cartila- 
ginous tubercles on the face on each side, two nasal, in ap- 
pearance like horns, two orbital, and two buccal, which pro- 
bably serve as fenders from injury to the eyes, in its progress 
through the thorny dense underwood. These prominences 
do not exist in the sow, which has a smaller head, but is 
otherwise similar to the boar. This variety goes by the ap- 
pelation of tuitkop amongst the Dutch farmers. The smaller 
variety called rocaitkop, is of a dirty reddish-brown colour 
on the body and limbs, but the hair of the head becomes 
gray in the older individuals. The young of this kind 
have a general brown colour, with two or three longitudinal 
reddish stripes on each side extending from the head to the 
tail. The nasal tuberculations seem only here to attain any 
size in the male, and are entirely, as in the other variety, de- 
ficient in the sow, which is also somewhat smaller than the 
male, but otherwise similar in appearance. The ears in both 
are erect. The distribution of the teeth in both varieties is 
as follow : incisors §-, can ines - — \, molars ^ = 30. The upper 
canines rest on their sides, and, directed outwards, seem mere- 
ly for the purpose of keeping the two edges of their opposites 
in the lower jaw sharp by their grinding action, as their fibres 
will act perpendicularly against those of the lower tusks lon- 
gitudinally. These animals afford excellent sport during the 
day, when the boer hunts them with a pack containing a few 
strong plucky dogs which have been accustomed to the sport. 
They frequent the dense bush and thickets, seldom the River 
Bush, and during the day may be turned out of these re- 
treats, where they repose, by dogs knowing their scent. They 
then immediately make off, and in difficult thick country give 
a long chase to the pack, but in more open country are soon 
run into, as they cannot keep up any lengthened speed, though 

204 On the Mammalia of the 

rapid for short distances. When they have taken to the 
dense bush the hunter waits, listening from some overlook- 
ing spot to the bark of the dogs, and hearing how matters 
are going on, till he becomes aware by the sound that 
the pig is brought at length to bay, when he then endea- 
vours to get as best he can through the bush, to the as- 
sistance of his dogs, who would in a long contest most 
probably lose some of their numbers. The best of the 
dogs, when the pig is brought to bay, run up at once, and 
fasten upon him by the ears, snout, lip, &c, the others 
assisting, and thus hold him fast, and prevent him doing 
much mischief, till the boer's knife between his ribs or a 
bullet puts a termination to a struggle, which, ifjiot thus in- 
terfered with, most likely would end in the defeat of the pack, 
and death of some of the dogs. In every seizure generally 
one or more dogs get wounded by the formidable tusks, and 
some are killed altogether, either by the belly being ripped 
up, or the vessels of the neck in front of the chest lacerated 
and pierced. Hesitating dogs are liable to suffer most, as 
may be inferred. By moonlight the wild pigs come out of 
their retreats, especially during and after rainy weather, when 
the ground is soft, to feed on the roots, bulbs, &c, which they 
fancy, and large pieces of ground may sometimes be seen 
ploughed up by them, after a single night's ranging. They 
may then be hunted very successfully, and sometimes shot 
when discovered out alone feeding. The flesh of the young 
is fair pork, but not very fat, and the skins of the older seem 
the only valuable part, of which the boer makes his veld- 
schoons, or covers his saddle with. The flesh of these pigs 
is most frequently allotted by the boer to feed his dogs, and is 
cut off the carcase on the spot, and devoured by them raw. 

Of the common Bush Tiger or Leopard (F. Leopardus), 
there are generally two kinds seen, a smaller and larger, in- 
habiting the densest bush of the koppies, kloofs, and krantzes. 
They are a great nuisance to the sheep-farmer of the Bush 
country, preying on his flocks, and are said to be very partial 
to baboons' flesh ; some skins of the larger kind with the long 
tail reach eight or ten feet long, while the smaller average 
about five or four. The spoor of some attain the size of that 

Fish River Bush, South Africa. 205 

of a horse or ox's, or larger, recognized from that of the wolf or 
dog by their circularity, and the absence of claw-marks. They 
are sometimes hunted with a pack of good dogs by the boers, 
and when brought to bay, despatched with the roer. Other- 
wise they are caught in traps placed not far from the kraals ; 
a large wolf-trap, with teeth, is set in the ground, covered 
over with rubbish in a sort of small kraal of bush, at the 
entrance of which it is placed, and opposite to it about two 
feet, is staked a piece of fresh meat. The animal is obliged, 
in order to get at this, and tear it off its fixture, to pass over 
and tread upon the plate of the trap, which by the pressure 
instantly loosens the spring, and the animal is caught by 
the limb. The trap is not fixed firm, so that the tiger can, 
if he pleases, walk off with it attached to his leg into the 
cover of some neighbouring thicket or kloof, as, if not per- 
mitted to do so, he would break or eat off his own limb, and 
so escape entirely. The boer next morning misses the trap, 
collects his dogs, and goes on the spoor, and is not long in 
discovering the retreat of the exhausted tiger. Their skins 
are valuable ; the larger being rated at about 30s., and the 
smaller 15s. to purchasers ; and are used for carosses, and 
chair and sofa covers. A few years ago, a fine young boer 
met an untimely end from being attacked by one of these 
ferocious creatures. He went out with his dog and gun, ac- 
companied by a Caffre servant, to look after his sheep, during 
the day grazing amongst the bush of the Fish River, near 
the Kat River junction. The dog scented and discovered a 
tiger in a neighbouring kloof, and the servant having ascer- 
tained that such was the case, requested his master would 
enter the bush with him, and kill the tiger. The boer de- 
clined at first, telling the Caffre he could not trust him in a 
fight, and knew that he would run away at a critical time. 
However, the contrary assurances of the servant at length 
prevailed on the boer, and both went in to attack the tiger. 
The dog having shewn them his whereabouts, though still under 
some concealment from the foliage, the boer fired, and wounded 
the animal, which immediately sprung out, and ere the shot 
could be repeated, felled his antagonist, and the gun was thrown 
out of reach in the fall ; the boer now cried out for his ser- 

-06 On the Mammalia of the 

rant's assistance, but the coward bad fled. A long struggle 
now ensued for life and death, the boer had got on his feet, 
but the tiger kept repeatedly springing up at his throat, and 
was as often shaken off by the hands. So rapid was this 
action that had it not been for the timely courage of the dog 
at length seizing and biting the tiger severely on the flanks, 
and diverting its attention for a moment, that enabled him 
to reach his gun, and despatch his enemy, the boer would 
have been worried on the spot. Assistance from some pass- 
ing people enabled him then to reach his home, but dread- 
fully lacerated in the shoulders, arms, and scalp, and faint 
from the loss of blood. Death in ten days, however, put a 
period to his sufferings, which continued till then intense, 
the wounds never having become healthily inflamed or sup- 
purated. Other accidents of this nature have occurred in 
contests with this formidable savage of the forests, and are 
so generally fatal that a tiger's bite in the country is reck- 
oned poisonous, for which perhaps there may be some ground 
in analogy with that of a rabid dog, and from a received 
opinion that the salivary juices of carnivorous animals in a 
state of passion become morbidly changed from their con- 
stitution in health. 

A few individuals of the Reel Cuba Lynx (Felis Lynx) are 
found in similar situations to the tiger, and are caught and 
destroyed by similar means, by either dogs or traps. They 
are equally a nuisance to the sheep-kraals, and like the wild 
cat, prey upon fowls and such domestic birds. Their fur is 
reddish-yellow above, rather whitish underneath ; the inguinal 
regions have a few dark brown spots scattered on them. The 
tail is black at its extremity, and the nearly erect ears, of a 
dull lead colour, are tipped with a pencil of fine hairs. Their 
skins are valuable for carosses and such purposes. 

The Wild Cat {Felis Serval, F. Cuv.) is found everywhere 
in bushy country, and is very destructive to feathered game. 
It sometimes attains as large a size as the small tiger, and is 
of great comparative length of body, and the tail becomes 
very bushy. Like all these feline animals, they are found 
amongst bushy thickets, or else may be seen ensconced in 
trees, awaiting to spring on their prey beneath. 

Fish River Bush, South Africa. 207 

Several communities of the Bavian, or Ursine Baboon (Gy- 
nocephalus porcarius), are scattered over this bushy country 
in different localities. Inaccessible bushy krantzes are their 
favourite resort, but they may be found amongst the hills and 
koppies here and there ; but when alarmed they betake them- 
selves to their rocky fastnesses. They are destructive in 
gardens and grain fields, and become an annoyance to farm- 
ers on that account. "When troublesome, they are sometimes 
hunted when found single ; as attacking a whole community, 
except for their dispersion, would be dangerous. A pack 
of dogs are employed to bring the animal to bay, and the 
conflict is very similar to that with the wild pig, and is 
obliged to be terminated with the knife or the bullet. If a 
baboon takes refuge in the trees from the dogs which wait 
barking at the foot, he is brought down by a shot, which pro- 
bably only wounds him, as correct aim cannot easily be taken, 
from the obstruction of the leaves. Sometimes a dog is killed 
by the wounds inflicted by the baboon's formidable tusks, 
and generally one or two are wounded before the struggle is 
over. These tusks are quite as formidable as those of the 
wild pig, but the upper one, pointed downwards, is the longer 
and more projecting of the two, quite sharp on the hinder 
edge, so that what is bitten is speedily torn through by the 
retraction of the head of the animal. In some old indivi- 
duals, from the absence of so perfect a grinding tooth oppo- 
site as the pig possesses, the upper tusks attain such a length 
that it becomes impossible to open the jaw wide enough, so 
as to permit the use of such an apparently formidable fang, 
and consequently the boer has less fear of having his dogs 
maimed when hunting such, as their bite is no longer to be 
dreaded. Many old baboons also are devoid of one or other 
upper tusk, which has probably been broken off in some for- 
mer struggle. When caught young, they may be trained to 
a certain extent ; but they very frequently become ferocious 
from the confinement of the chain, especially males, and dan- 
gerous to their keepers and masters, and are obliged to be 
shot. A serious accident of this nature happened to a com- 
missariat officer in Graham's Town, who was much lace- 

20S On the Mammalia of the 

rated by a baboon he was keeping, but which was after- 
wards shot. 

The more inhabited parts of the Fish River country have 
nearly been cleared of the Cape Wolf (Ilycena capensis), or 
spotted hysena, but they still exist in that part about Commit- 
tee's and Trumpeter's. As these animals are very destructive 
to flocks, instead of hunting them for sport, the farmers have 
got rid of them in a wholesale manner. Pieces of meat impreg- 
nated with strychnine are deposited here and there over a cer- 
tain property, and the wolf, if it partakes of any of them, is 
generally found dead not further than 100 yards off. This 
poison is so strong, that the flesh of the poisoned animal be- 
comes itself poisonous, and will act nearly as powerfully as the 
original bait, whatever animal partakes of it. Their large 
dog-like spoor may sometimes be seen during wet weather, 
when they are more daring than usual. They are sometimes 
seen by travellers in the Trumpeter's Hill road, and have 
proved such a source of obstruction to some people, as to 
make them retrace their steps ; and on these occasions they 
appear in troops. They do not generally act on the offen- 
sive, but fight desperately when attacked. Their enormous 
jaws and powerful strong teeth enable them to crush a 
limb or break a very stout stick like a twig. An old boer 
farmer near Fort Brown retains to this day numerous traces 
of deep wounds inflicted on him, when, in his younger days, 
he attacked and fought with a wolf that had entered his 
sheep-kraal, and would not have escaped being worried on the 
spot, unless assistance had arrived in time. These wolves 
are sometimes caught in large wooden crate-like traps, 10 or 
15 feet square, and formed of stout building timber. A bait 
is affixed at the end opposite to a sliding door, which falls 
down on the former being loosened. Almost incredible in- 
stances are told of their power in crushing and breaking 
sticks, bending pokers, &c, by their jaws. They live chiefly 
in caverns and holes in the ground, such as old abandoned 
antbear runs, but their paws are powerful enough to excavate 
for dead carcases a considerable depth, and by many they 
are said to burrow their own holes. 

The Jackal, or Cape Fox {Cams mesomelas), affords good 

Fish River Bush, South Africa. 209 

coursing in open country, and English foxhounds have been 
trained to scent and follow him. He betakes himself generally 
to holes also, made in the earth by the antbear and porcupine, 
which have been abandoned. They are rather handsome in 
appearance, with erect open ears, long flowing fur, and a fine 
bushy tail, black at the after-part. The back is marked by a 
large patch of dark gray, with long white hairs interspersed, 
extending from the neck to the rump, and is bounded by a dif- 
ferent coloured stripe all round, the rest of the fur being of 
a tawny colour ; the tip of the nose is black and sharp. They 
can be made a pet of when caught young, and be taught to 
follow and act like a dog somewhat, but are rather uncertain 
in temper. Their prepared furred skins are made into very 
handsome carosses, and are nearly equal in this respect to 
those made of wild-cat skin, that of the male being hand- 
somer than the female. Jackals are generally solitary in 
their habits in a wild state, and are not seen in troops like 
the wild dog in this part of the country. 

The Mane Jackal (Proteles Lalandi, Is. Geof.), a kind of 
striped hysena, shares peculiarities proper to the dog and the 
hysena. It is rarer than the common fox, more shy, and less 
fleet when pursued, and lives in holes in the earth. Its food 
would appear to consist chiefly of ants, beetles, roots and bulbs, 
&c. ; for the obtaining of mere carnivorous food, neither its 
teeth nor its strength would seem adapted. Its knees are soil- 
marked, hard, and bare of fur ; and its posture at times, on feed- 
ing on certain aliments, would seem similar to the goat, which 
goes on its knees when cropping the grass. Its fur is coarse, 
of a dirty gray colour, and marked with transverse black stripes 
on the body and limbs. A mane extends along the back from 
the head to the tail, which is erected when the animal is pur- 
sued or its passions aroused, but is not perceived when in a 
state of repose. The tail is bushy, like the jackal, black at 
the tip, and hangs down as far as the hock, about half as 
short as the jackal's. The fore feet have five toes, and the 
hind feet four toes, like the dog, in which it differs from the 
generic characters of the hysena. The teats of the female are 
four, situated in the ventral region, and the tongue is spiny, or 
aculeated, as in the true hyaena. The teeth seem peculiar to 

VOL. LV. NO. CX.— OCTOBER 1853. 

210 On the Mammalia of the 

it alone, are weak and small, the great carnivorous tooth of 
the dog, hyaena, and jackal, is wanting, and the only sub- 
stitute for the molars are a few separate small lancet-shaped 
teeth, which it is stated it retains through life. These are 
seen in specimens of full growth, so that they are not milk 
teeth. It only resembles the dog in having incisors and ca- 
nines in the upper and lower jaw, the former of which seem 
much used, being worn by the frequent act of cropping or bit- 
ing. Incisors j, canines y — p, molars ^ = 34. Its ears are 
long, and erect like the hyaena, and there is a anal odori- 
ferous gland. 

The Ratel (Viverra mellivord) is a common inhabitant of 
the bush, and may be accidentally met with, or flushed by dogs 
on its scent, which is strong. Tt feeds on honey nests, though 
sometimes attacking the hen-roost and domestic fowls. The 
ratel follows the note and leading of the honey-bird, and an- 
swers it by a low grunt ; a peculiar odour it emits drives away 
the bees, and the ratel digs out the different pieces of comb.and 
piles them outside the cavity, on which it repasts, but leaves 
some portion for a subsequent meal, part of which, of course, 
is shared by the honey-bird. It is very difficult to kill by 
dogs, from the great thickness of its skin and the coarseness 
of the hair, which also afford it protection from the stings of 
the bees. Its skin is used by the boers for soles of shoes. 
A heavy blow on the nose is stated to be the most vulner- 
able wound, and this peculiar vulnerability is shared by the 
porcupine. It is characterized by the large distinctly-bounded 
patch of dull ash-gray fur on its back, bounded on the sides 
by black stripes, and extending from the head to the tail. 

Two or three different kinds of Mousehund, or weasel 
(Mustela), are commonly seen now and then running sharply 
from one bush to another, or they may be turned out by dogs. 
One variety (Zorilla) has its fur variegated by longitudinal 
black and dirty yellowish-white stripes, extending from the 
nose to the tail, and emits a very strong odour, when attacked 
or disturbed, from its anal gland, so that many dogs refuse to 
attack it — also then erecting its tail, and uttering a peculiar 
scream. In skinning such an animal, care must be taken 
not to wound this gland, else its secretion pouring out will 

Fish River Bush, South Africa. 211 

taint the skin so much that the odour never leaves it. An- 
other kind is of an entirely grayish-brown sandy colour, and 
the fur is very soft ; and the furred skin is used by the natives 
for tobacco sacs, and such uses. It does not appear to be 
possessed of such a powerful scent as the former kind. 

The Porcupine (Hy stria) affords good sport in the moon- 
light nights, people going out with dogs, and on horseback, 
armed with spears, or instruments that will answer such a 
purpose, and heavy sticks. They come out of their deep bur- 
rows at that time to feed, and root in the surface of the soil 
for bulbs, roots, &c. The flesh of the young porcupine 
makes good kind of pork when dressed for the table. It is 
a fiction their darting their quills ; but they are easily de- 
tached from the skin, and their points are very sharp, and 
resemble very much the blade of an assegai ; and if they 
enter a certain depth into the body of some unfortunate 
dog, readily stick there till pulled out. They are very de- 
structive amongst gardens, and burrow holes in even hard 
ground very rapidly, dividing the roots that cross by their 
strong sharp incisors. The skull of the porcupine is very 
slight and spongy, and easily crushed when dried, which 
may explain the blow on the nose being fatal to them. 

A troop of Wild Dogs (Lycaon picta, Brookes) are occa- 
sionally seen crossing the Bush country in the open glades, in 
the pursuit of some large buck, as a koodoo or bushbuck, and 
the destined victim seldom or ever escapes the perseverance 
and avidity of its pursuers, who follow it for miles on the spoor, 
which is never surrendered till it terminates at the death. 
Fleetness and the densest thickets are of no avail against these 
unrelenting hunters ; the leading dog on the scent when tired 
sinks back into the pack, and a fresher huntsman takes his 
place, every one working for the common service of the sto- 
machs of the whole pack. Its appearance gives one the idea 
of an intermediate form between the dog and the jackal, which 
it resembles in its pointed nose and long erect ears. 

There are a great variety of Dogs in use in the colony, of 
all sizes, shapes, and degrees of strength, &c, but few gifted 
with individual courage and fine discerning scent, like Eng- 
lish blood-bred dogs, and are only useful when in numbers. 


212 ()<< the Mammalia of the 

The progeny of pure blood-dogs imported into the colony soon 
degenerate into the usual type witnessed here ; the broad, 
short, and square nose becoming elongated, narrow, and 
pointed ; the ears gradually acquiring more erectness, and the 
tail becoming wiry if bushy, and curly and hairy if smooth 
and straight. The shaggy coat of the imported Skye terrier 
or spaniel, in the individual itself ere long becomes smooth 
and shorter, and the hair straight; and the next breed are 
more altered still. Nothing but fresh blood from England, 
or elsewhere, can keep up good breeds of any kinds of house- 
hold or hunting dogs, and they are found always much supe- 
rior to their progeny born in the country. Well-bred dogs 
are much thinned in numbers by the distemper, which attacks 
them more virulently than it does more common breeds, and 
with more fatal effect. This disease bears strong characters 
of a congestive bilious fever, the liver and lungs become 
loaded with blood, and the white of the eyes becomes yellow, 
and torpidity and total loss of appetite ensue. The most effi- 
cacious remedies would appear to be emetics and calomel 
purges, followed by antimony and calomel powders. I cannot 
call to mind any instance of canine madness in this country, 
or any cases of hydrophobia. Whether this exemption is 
due to the uncontrolled liberty here given to dogs, which 
are seldom or ever chained up, allowing them free ac- 
cess to water wherever it lies, or to the unrestrained compa- 
nionship of the bitch, I am unable to say. Certain it is, 
dogs are here uncommonly salacious. The observation in the 
tendency to degeneracy of well-bred dogs would argue the 
influence of the climate in reducing the varieties all down to 
the common characteristics of the native dog of the country, 
the Canis venatica. The common standard of Cape Horse 
remains the same, though good blood has been infused into 
the race from other parts ; yet the native-born progeny some- 
times naturally decline to the lower native standard — the 
horizontal or t neck, the straight perpendicular shoulder, and 
the heavy under jaw and narrow chest. The same law 
would seem to occur in the Ox and Sheep, the straight back 
and short horns soon in a generation or two lapse into the 
hanging neck and hollow back, and long ponderous horns, 

Fish River Bush, South Africa. 213 

some times six or ten feet between the tips ; and the progeny 
of the well-bred woolled sheep, if let alone, change the curly 
thick-set coat for one hairy and shaggy, and thin, and the 
small tail for the long pendulous and fat-laden one of 
the Cape sheep. This deposit of fat in the tail would seem 
to have some connection with the absence of the usual quan- 
tity of internal fat seen in the latter breed. Horses are af- 
fected in the lower districts with a congestive fever, implica- 
ting the lungs at particular times and seasons, which proves 
fatal to great numbers, especially such as are turned out to 
graze all day, whence some attribute the cause to the grass, 
especially with the dew on. Purging and the maintenance 
of profuse perspiration are the usual methods of alleviation. 
Some are cured, but the majority of cases are unsuccessful. 

The Common Hare may be found and shot about the open 
thickets on stony clayey ground in the level parts of the Bush 
country, but its flesh is far inferior to that of the English 
hare, and very dry. It has a grayish fur, and is of consider- 
able size. Associated with it, but in more stony places, occa- 
sionally springs up and darts off very swiftly and sharply, 
the mountain hare, Klipdas, or red hare, about half of the 
size of the common species, having a general silver-gray thick 
fur, red woolly tail and red legs, and has long hairs round the 
nose and cheeks. Its skin is very difficult to take off, from its 
thinness and slightness, and is difficult to preserve. The flesh 
is very similar to that of the large species. 

Out feeding in the clear moonlight nights after dark, may 
often, in particular localities, be detected the pretty and sin- 
gular Spring Hare (Pedetes), in the neighbourhood of open 
sandy clay soil interspersed with small bushes, which it browses 
on, standing on its hind legs. It has many of the peculiarities 
of the squirrel or sloth, in the shape of its fore paws, which 
seem manifestly constructed for grasping branches or holding 
berries or nuts. Its powerful strong sharp incisors can easily 
bite the small twigs or cut off the wild fruit. It does not 
seem adapted to climb trees, and therefore only obtains sucli 
food as is within reach of a standing posture on its long hind 
legs, armed with hoof-like nails on the feet. As the fore feet 
are made as prehensile organs, it would seem that it is chiefly 
enabled to progress by leaps like the kangaroo from its hind 

214 Mammalia of the Fish River Bush, South Africa. 

feet and tail, which is long, tolerably thick, and plentifully sup- 
plied with muscular power. When wounded it utters a pe- 
culiarly shrill, melancholy cry. It betakes itself during the 
day to holes of its own construction in the sandy ground, 
running amongst the roots of the small thickets. When in a 
sleeping posture, or reposing, the long hind legs are stretched 
out forwards, and between them it buries its head, enfolded 
at the sides by its fore feet, the tail either extended or sweep- 
ing round one side of the body. The tail has a knob-like ter- 
mination covered with black hair, the remainder being of the 
usual fawn colour of the body, &c. It has a similar posture 
with its limbs when reposing on its side. They are destruc- 
tive to garden vegetables, and eat of the young mealies as 
they sprout forth. Its strong rodent incisors are very similar 
to those of the porcupine, and the fangs extend a long way 
into each upper and lower maxillary bone. The fur is bright 
and fulvous, and the hairy tail tinged black at its extremity. 
There is no external appearance of the testes, a peculiarity 
shared in by the elephant, seal, and cetacea, according to 
Professor Jones, who, however, does not allude to the spring 
hare in the paragraph in his Comparative Anatomy. These 
organs are both included in the abdominal cavity, but into the 
inguinal canal may be observed inserted the detractor liga- 
ment, the agent of the descent of the testes in the young of 
other animals. Each organ is suspended by its free ex- 
tremity against, but free of, the anterior walls of the abdo- 
men. The vasa deferentia pass from each testis to the cor- 
responding side of the base of the bladder, and the vesiculge 
seminales exist as entirely separate glands, whose ducts 
enter the vasa deferentia. 

Basking themselves on the sunny side of the krantzes in 
the evenings and mornings, may generally be seen several of 
the Klipdas, Cony, Rock Itabbit, or Cape Hyrax (H. capen- 
sis), sitting together on the stones, and when alarmed by the 
approach of a stranger, rapidly to dive like lizards into the 
cavities out of sight. They are of various sizes, from that of 
a rat up to a full-grown rabbit ; their fur is very fine, and the 
skin soft. 

They are classed as pachydermata, but are plantigrade, 
and the feet are formed similar to those of a monkey, having 

Sir C. Lyell on Fossil Reptilian Remains. 215 

a cushiony leathery sole all over, extending along the lower 
surfaces of the fingers and toes, which are provided with little 
nails, evidently adapting them for their stony peregrina- 
tions. They may be seen ascending up almost perpendicular 
faces of rock, and they can as rapidly descend without hav- 
ing recourse to a fall to hasten their descent. The distribution 
of the teeth are as follows: Incisors -|, canines y — yj mo " 
lars JJ = 30. The lower incisors are small, chisel-shaped, set 
together, and their edges indented like a saw transversely. 
The two upper incisors are longer, curved, triangular, point- 
ed and set apart, and look like canines in every respect as to 
appearance, and no doubt as to use ; for they cannot cut, and 
are only serviceable to tear, and in fact are suitable tusks. 
The molars are all tuberculated. No tail. 

The Aardvarh {Orycteropus capensis) is an inhabitant of 
the Fish River country, but a description of this animal, and 
its anatomy, have already been given.* 

On the discovery of some Fossil Reptilian Remains and 
a Land-Shell in the interior of an erect Fossil-Tree in the 
Coal Measures of Nova Scotia ; with remarks on the origin 
of Coal-fields, and the time required for their formation. 
By Sir C. Lyell, F.R.S. 

The entire thickness of the carboniferous strata exhibited 
in one uninterrupted section on the shores of the Bay of 
Fundy, in Nova Scotia, at a place called the South Joggins 
and its neighbourhood, was ascertained by Mr Logan to be 
14,570 feet. The middle part of this vast series of strata 
having a thickness of 1400 feet, abounds in fossil forests of 
erect trees, together with root-beds and thin seams of coal. 
These coal-bearing strata were examined in detail by Mr J. 
W. Dawson of Pictou, and Sir C. Lyell in September last 
(1852), and among other results of their investigations they 
obtained satisfactory proof that several Sigillarise standing 
in an upright position, or at right angles to the planes of 
stratification, were provided with Stigmarise as roots. Such 
a relation between Sigillaria and Stigraaria had, it is true, 
been already established by Mr Binney of Manchester, and 

* Vide Edin. New Phil. Journal, vol. liv., No. 107, p. 168. 

216 Sir C. Lyell on Fossil Reptilian Remains 

had been suspected some years before on botanical grounds by 
M. Adolphe Brongniart ; but as the fact was still doubted by 
some geologists both in Europe and America, it was thought 
desirable to dig out of the cliffs, and expose to view, several 
large trunks with their roots attached. These were ob- 
served to bifurcate several times, and to send out rootlets in 
all directions into the clays of ancient soils in which they had 
grown. Such soils or underclays with Stigmaria afford more 
conclusive evidence of ancient terrestrial surfaces than even 
erect trees, as the latter might be conceived to have been 
drifted and fixed like snags in a river's bed. In the strata 
1400 feet thick above mentioned, root-bearing soils were ob- 
served at sixty-eight different levels ; and, like the seams of 
coal which usually cover them, they are at present the most 
destructible masses in the whole cliff, the sandstones and la- 
minated shales being harder, and more capable of resisting the 
action of the waves and the weather. Originally the reverse 
was doubtless true, for in the existing delta of the Mississippi 
the clays, in which innumerable roots of swamp trees, such as 
the deciduous cypress, ramify in all directions, are seen to with- 
stand far more effectually the excavating power of the river 
or of the sea at the base of the delta, than do beds of loose 
sand or layers of mud not supporting trees. 

This fact may explain why seams of coal have so often 
escaped denudation, and have remained continuous over wide 
areas, since the roots, now turned to coal, which once tra- 
versed them, would enable them to resist a current of water, 
whilst other members of the coal formation, when in their 
original and unconsolidated state, consisting of sand and mud, 
would be readily removed. 

The upright trees usually inclose in their interior pillars 
of sandstone or shale, or both these substances alternating, 
and these do not correspond in the thickness of their layers, 
or in their organic remains, with the external strata, or 
those enveloping the trunks. It is clear, therefore, that the 
trees were reduced while yet standing to hollow cylinders of 
mere bark (now changed into coal), in which the leaves of 
ferns and other plants, with fragments of stems and roots, 
were drifted together with mud and sand during river inun- 
dations. The stony contents of one of these trees, nine feet 

in the Coal-Measures of Nova Scotia. 217 

high and twenty-two inches in diameter, on being examined 
by Messrs Dawson and Lyell, yielded, besides numerous 
fossil plants, some bones and teeth which they believed were 
referable to a reptile ; but not being competent to decide that 
osteological question, they submitted the specimens to Dr 
Jeffries Wyman of Harvard University in the United States. 
That eminent anatomist declared them to be allied in struc- 
ture to certain perennibranchiate batrachians of the genera 
Menobranchus and Menopoma, species of which now inhabit 
the lakes and rivers of North America. This determination 
was soon afterwards confirmed by Professor Owen of London, 
who pointed out the resemblance of some of the associated 
flat and sculptured bones, with the cranial plates, seen in the 
skull of the Archegosaurus and Labyrinthodon.* In the same 
dark-coloured rock, Dr Wyman detected a series of nine ver- 
tebras, which from their form and transverse processes he re- 
gards as dorsal, and believes them to have belonged to an 
adult individual of a much smaller species, about six inches 
long, whereas the jaws and bones before mentioned are those 
of a creature probably two-and-a-half feet in length. The 
microscopic structure of these small vertebrae was found by 
Professor Quekett to exhibit the same marked reptilian cha- 
racters as that of the larger bones. 

The fossil remains in question were scattered about the in- 
terior of the trunk, near its base, among fragments of wood 
now converted into charcoal, which may have fallen in while 
the tree was rotting away, having been afterwards cemented to- 
gether by mud and sand stained black by carbonaceous matter. 
Whether the reptile crept into the hollow tree while its top 
was still open to the air, or whether it was washed in with mud 
during a flood, or in whatever other manner it entered, must be 
matter of conjecture. Footprints of two reptiles of different 
sizes have been observed Dr Harding and Dr Gesner on rip- 
ple-marked flags of the lower coal measures in Nova Scotia, 
evidently made by quadrupeds walking on the beach, or out 
of the water, just as the recent Menopoma is sometimes ob- 
served to do. Other reptilian footprints of much larger size 
had been previously noticed (as early as 1844) in the coal of 

* Professors Wyman and Owen have named the reptile Dendrerpeton Aca- 
dianum, Acadia being the ancient Indian name for Nova Scotia. 

218 Sir C. Lyell on Fossil Reptilian Remains 

Pennsylvania by Dr King ; and in Europe three or four in- 
stances of skeletons of the same class of animals have been 
obtained, but the present is the first example of any of their 
bones having been met with in America, in rocks of higher 
antiquity than the trias. It is hoped, however, that other 
instances will soon come to light, when the contents of up- 
right trees, so abundant in Nova Scotia, have been syste- 
matically explored ; for in such situations the probability of 
discovering ancient air-breathing creatures seems greater 
than in ordinary subaqueous deposits. Nevertheless we must 
not indulge too sanguine expectations on this head, when we 
recollect that no fossil vertebrata of a higher grade than 
fishes, nor any land-shells, have as yet been met with in the 
oolitic coal-field of the James River, near Richmond, Vir- 
ginia, a coal-field which has been worked extensively for 
three-quarters of a century. The coal alluded to is bitumi- 
nous, and as a fuel resembles the best of the ancient coal of 
Nova Scotia and Great Britain. The associated strata of 
sandstone and shale contain prostrate zamites and ferns, and 
erect calamites and equiseta, which last evidently remain in the 
position where they grew in mud and sand. Whether the 
age of these beds be oolitic, as Messrs W. B. Rogers and 
Lyell have concluded, or upper triassic, as some other geo- 
logists suspect, they still belong clearly to an epoch when 
saurians and other reptiles flourished abundantly in Europe ; 
and they therefore prove that the preservation of ancient ter- 
restrial surfaces even in secondary rocks does not imply, as 
we might have anticipated, conditions the most favourable 
to our finding therein creatures of a higher organization 
than fishes. 

In breaking up the rock in which the reptilian bones were 
entombed, a small fossil body resembling a land-shell of the 
genus Pupa, was detected. As such it was recognized by 
Dr Gould of Boston, and afterwards by M. Deshayes of Paris, 
both of whom carefully examined its form and striation. 
When parts of the surface were subsequently magnified 250 
diameters, by Professor Quekett of the College of Surgeons, 
they were seen to exhibit ridges and grooves undistinguish- 
able from those belonging to the striation of living species 
of land-shells. The internal tissue also of the shell displayed, 

in the Coal-Measures of Nova Scotia. 219 

under the microscope, the same prismatic and tubular ar- 
rangements which characterize the shells of living mollusca. 
Sections also of the same shewed what may be part of the 
columella and spiral whorls, somewhat broken and distorted 
by pressure and crystallized. The genus cannot be made 
out, as the mouth is wanting. If referable to a Pupa or any 
allied genus, it is the first example of a pulmoniferous mol- 
lusk hitherto detected in a primary or paleozoic rock. 

Sir Charles next proceeded to explain his views as to the 
origin of coal-fields in general, observing that the force of 
the evidence in favour of their identity in character with the 
deposits of modern deltas has increased in proportion as they 
have been more closely studied. They usually display a vast 
thickness of stratified mud and fine sand without pebbles, 
and in them are seen countless stems, leaves, and roots of 
terrestrial plants, free for the most part from all intermix- 
ture of marine remains, circumstances which imply the per- 
sistency in the same region of a vast body of fresh water. 
This water was also charged like that of a great river with 
an inexhaustible supply of sediment, which had usually been 
transported over alluvial plains to a considerable distance 
from the higher grounds, so that all coarser particles and 
gravel were left behind. On the whole, the phenomena imply 
the drainage and denudation of a continent or large island, 
having within it one or more ranges of mountains. The 
partial intercalation of brackish water beds at certain points 
is equally consistent with the theory of a delta, the lower 
parts of which are always exposed to be overflowed by the 
sea even where no oscillations of level are experienced. 

The purity of the coal itself, or the absence in it of earthy 
particles and sand throughout areas of very great extent, is 
a fact which has naturally appeared very difficult to explain, 
if we attribute each coal-seam to a vegetation growing in 
swamps, and not to the drifting of plants. It may be asked 
how, during river inundations capable of sweeping away the 
leaves of ferns, and the stems and roots of Sigillariae and 
other trees, could the waters fail to transport some fine mud 
into the swamps % One generation after another of tall trees 
grew with their roots in mud, and after they had fallen pros- 

220 Sir C. Lyell on Fossil Reptilian Remains 

irate and bad been turned into coal, were covered with layers 
of mud (now turned to shale), and yet tbe coal itself has re- 
mained unsoiled throughout these various changes. The 
lecturer thinks this enigma may be solved, by attending to 
what is now taking place in deltas. The dense growth of 
reeds and herbage which encompasses the margins of forest- 
covered swamps in the valley and delta of the Mississippi, is 
such that the fluviatile waters in passing through them are 
filtered and made to clear themselves entirely before they 
reach the areas in which vegetable matter may accumulate 
for centuries, forming coal if the climate be favourable. 
There is no possibility of the least intermixture of earthy mat- 
ter in such cases. Thus in the large submerged tract called 
the " Sunk Country,'' near New Madrid, forming part of the 
western side of the valley of the Mississippi, erect trees have 
been standing ever since the year 1811-12, killed by the great 
earthquake of that date ; lacustrine and swamp plants have 
been growing there in the shallows, and several rivers have 
annually inundated the whole space, and yet have been un- 
able to carry in any sediment within the outer boundaries of 
the morass. 

In the ancient coal of the South Joggins in Nova Scotia, 
many of the underclays shew a network of Stigmaria roots, 
of which some penetrate into or quite through older roots 
which belonged to the trees of a preceding generation. 
Where trunks are seen in an erect position buried in sand- 
stone and shale, rooted Sigillarise or Calamites are often 
observed at different heights in the enveloping strata, attest- 
ing the growth of plants at several successive levels, while 
the process of envelopment was going on. In other cases 
there are proofs of the submergence of a forest under marine 
or brackish water, the base of the trunks of the submerged 
trees being covered with serpulse or a species of spirorbis. 
Not unfrequently seams of coal are succeeded by beds of im- 
pure bituminous limestone, composed chiefly of compressed 
modiola; with scales and teeth of fish, these being evidently 
deposits of brackish or salt water origin. 

The lecturer exhibited a joint of the stem of a fresh-water 
reed (Arundinaria macrospenna) covered with barnacles, 

in the Coal-Measures of Nova Scotia. 221 

which he gathered at the extremity of the delta of the Mis- 
sissippi or the Balize. He saw a cane-brake (as it is called 
in the country) of these tall reeds killed by salt water, and 
extending over several acres, the sea having advanced over 
a space where the discharge of fresh water had slackened for 
a season in one of the river's mouths. Tf such reeds when 
dead could still remain standing in the mud with barnacles 
attached to them (these Crustacea having been in their turn 
destroyed by a return of the river to the same spot), still 
more easily may we conceive large and firmly-rooted Sigil- 
larise to have continued erect for many years in the carboni- 
ferous period, when the sea happened to gain on any tract of 
submerged land. 

Submergence under salt water may have been caused either 
by a local diminution in the discharge of a river in one of its 
many mouths, or more probably by subsidence, as in the case 
of the erect columns of the Temple of Serapis, near Naples, 
to which serpulse and other marine bodies are still found ad- 

Sir Charles next entered into some speculations respecting 
the probable volume of solid matter contained in the car- 
boniferous formation of Nova Scotia. The data he said for 
such an estimate are as yet imperfect, but some advantage 
would be gained could we but make some slight approxima- 
tion to the truth. The strata at the South Joggins are 
nearly three miles thick, and they are known to be also of 
enormous thickness in the district of the Albion Mines near 
Pictou, more than one hundred miles to the eastward. There 
appears therefore little danger of erring on the side of ex- 
cess, if we take half that amount or 7500 feet as the average 
thickness of the whole of the coal measures. The area of 
the coal-field, including part of New Brunswick to the west, 
and Prince Edward's Island and the Magdalen Isles to the 
north, as well as the Cape Breton beds, together with the 
connecting strata which must have been denuded, or must 
still be concealed beneath the waters of the Gulf of St 
Lawrence, may comprise about 36,000 square miles, which, 
with the thickness of 7500 feet before assumed, will give 
7,527,168,000,000,000 cubic feet (or 51,136-4 cubic miles) of 

222 Sir C. Lyell on Fossil Reptilian Remains 

solid matter as the volume of the rocks. Such an array of 
figures conveys no distinct idea to the mind ; but is interest- 
ing when we reflect that the Mississippi would take more 
than two millions of years (2,033,000 years) to convey to the 
Gulf of Mexico, an equal quantity of solid matter in the shape 
of sediment, assuming the average discharge of water in the ( 
great river, to be, as calculated by Mr Forshay, 450,000 cubic 
feet per second, throughout the year, and the total quantity 
of mud to be, as estimated by Mr Riddell, 3,702,758,400 cubic 
feet in the year.* 

We may, however, if we desire to reduce to a minimum 
the possible time required for such an operation (assuming 
it be one of fluviatile denudation and deposition), select as 
our agent a river flowing from a tropical country, such as 
the Ganges, in the basin of which the fall of rain is much 
heavier, and where nearly all comes down in a third part of 
the year, so that the river is more turbid than if it flowed in 
temperate latitudes. In reference to the Ganges, also, it 
may be well to mention, that its delta presents in one re- 
spect a striking parallel to the Nova Scotia coal-field, since 
at Calcutta, at the depth of eight or ten feet from the surface, 
buried trees and roots have been found in digging tanks, in- 
dicating an ancient soil now underground ; and in boring on 
the same site for an artesian well to the depth of 481 feet, 
other signs of ancient forest- covered lands and peaty soils 
have been observed at several depths, even as far down as 
300 feet and upwards below the level of the sea. As the 
strata pierced through contained fresh-water remains of re- 
cent species of plants and animals, they imply a subsidence 
which has been going on contemporaneously with the accu- 
mulation of fluviatile mud. 

Captain Strachey of the Bengal Engineers has estimated 
that the Ganges must discharge 4 J- times as much water into 
the Bay of Bengal, as the same river carries past Ghazipore, 
a place 500 miles above its mouth, where experiments were 
made on the volume of water and proportion of mud by the 
Rev. Mr Everest. It is not till after it has passed Ghazipore, 

* See Principles of Geology, 8th Ed., p. 219. 

in the Coal-Measures of Nova Scotia. 223 

that the great river is joined by most of its larger tributaries. 
Taking the quantity of sediment at one-third less than that 
assigned by Mr Everest for the Ghazipore average, the 
volume of solid matter conveyed to the Bay of Bengal would 
still amount to 20,000 millions of cubic feet annually. The 
Ganges, therefore, might accomplish in 375,000 years the 
task which it would take the Mississippi, according to the 
data before laid down, upwards of two million years to 

One inducement to call attention to such calculations is the 
hope of interesting engineers in making accurate measurement 
of the quantity of water and mud discharged by such rivers as 
the Ganges, Brahmapootra, Indus, and Mississippi, and to lead 
geologists to ascertain the number of cubic feet of solid mat- 
ter which ancient fluviatile formations, such as the coal-mea- 
sures, with their associated marine strata, may contain. Sir 
Charles anticipates that the chronological results derived from 
such sources will be in harmony with the conclusions to which 
botanical and zoological considerations alone might lead us, 
and that the lapse of years will be found to be so vast as to 
have an important bearing on our reasonings in every depart- 
ment of geological science. 

A question may be raised, how far the co-operation of the 
sea in the deposition of the carboniferous series might ac- 
celerate the process above considered. The lecturer con- 
ceives that the intervention of the sea would not afford such 
favourable conditions for the speedy accumulation of a large 
body of sediment within a limited area, as would be obtained 
by the hypothesis before stated, namely, that of a great river 
entering a bay in which the waves, currents, and tides of the 
ocean should exert only a moderate degree of denuding and 
dispersing power. 

An eminent writer, when criticising, in 1830, Sir Charles 
Ly ell's work on the adequacy of existing causes, was at pains 
to assure his readers, that while he questioned the soundness 
of the doctrine, he by no means grudged any one the appro- 
priation of as much as he pleased of that " least valuable of 
all things, past time." But Sir Charles believes, notwith- 
standing the admission so often made in the abstract of the 

224 On Fossil Reptilian Remains in Nova Scotia. 

indefinite extent of past time, that there is, practically speak- 
ing, a rooted and perhaps unconscious reluctance on the part 
of most geologists to follow out to their legitimate conse- 
quences the proofs, daily increasing in number, of this im- 
mensity of time. It would therefore be of no small moment 
could we obtain even an approach to some positive measure of 
the number of centuries which any great operation of nature, 
such as the accumulation of a delta or fluviatile deposit of great 
magnitude may require, inasmuch as our conceptions of the 
energy of aqueous or igneous causes, or of the powers of vita- 
lity in any given geological period, must depend on the quan- 
tity of time assigned for their development. 

Thus, for example, geologists will not deny that a vertical 
subsidence of three miles took place gradually at the South 
Joggins during the carboniferous epoch, the lowest beds of 
the coal of Nova Scotia, like the middle and uppermost, con- 
sisting of shallow-water beds. If, then, this depression was 
brought about in the course of 375,000 years, it did not exceed 
the rate of four feet in a century, resembling that now ex- 
perienced in certain countries where, whether the movement 
be upward or downward, it is quite insensible to the inhabi- 
tants, and only known by scientific inquiry. If, on the other 
hand, it was brought about in two millions of years according 
to the other standard before alluded to, the rate would be only 
six inches in a century. But the same movement taking place 
in an upward direction would be sufficient to uplift a portion 
of the earth's crust to the height of Mont Blanc, or to a ver- 
tical elevation of three miles above the level of the sea. In 
like manner, if a large shoal be rising, or attempting to rise, in 
mid-ocean at the rate of six inches or even four feet in a hun- 
dred years, the waves may grind down to mud and sand and 
readily sweep away the rocks so upraised as fast as they come 
within the denuding action of the waves. A mass having a 
vertical thickness of three miles might thus be stripped off in 
the course of ages, and inferior rocks laid bare. So in regard 
to volcanic agency a certain quantity of lava is poured out 
annually upon the surface, or is injected into the earth's crust 
below the surface, and great metamorphic changes resulting 

Observations on Fish, in relation to Diet. 225 

from subterranean heat accompany the injection. Whether 
each of these effects be multiplied by 50,000, or by half a 
million or by two millions of years, may entirely decide the 
question whether we shall or shall not be compelled to aban- 
don the doctrine of paroxysmal violence in ancient as con- 
trasted with modern times. Were we hastily to take for granted 
the paroxsymal intensity of the forces above alluded to, or- 
ganic and inorganic, while the ordinary course of nature may of 
itself afford the requisite amount of aqueous, igneous, and 
vital force (if multiplied by a sufficient number of centuries), 
we might find ourselves embarrassed by the possession of 
twice as much mechanical force and vital energy as we require 
for the purposes of geological interpretation. 

Some Observations on Fish, in relation to Diet. By John 
Davy, M.D., F.R.S. Lond. & Edin., Inspector-General of 
Army Hospitals, &c* Communicated by the Author. 

What are the nutritive qualities of fish, compared with 
other kinds of animal food? Do different species of fish 
differ materially in degree in nutritive power? Have fish, 
as food, any peculiar or special properties ? These are 
questions, amongst many others, which may be asked, but 
which, in the present state of our knowledge, I apprehend 
it would be difficult to answer in a manner at all satisfac- 

On the present occasion, I shall attempt little more than 
an opening of the inquiry, and that directed to a few points, 
chiefly those alluded to in the foregoing queries. 

1 . Of the Nutritive Power of Fish. 
The proposition probably will be admitted, that the nutri- 
tive power of all the ordinary articles of animal food, at 
least of those composed principally of muscular fibre, or of 

* Read before the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 18th April 1853. 
VOL. LV. NO. CX. — OCTOBER 1853. P 

226 Dr Davy's Observations on Fish, 

muscle and fat, to whatever class belonging, is approximately 
denoted by their several specific gravities, and by the amount 
of solid matter which each contains, as determined by tho- 
rough drying, or the expulsion of the aqueous part at a tem- 
perature such as that of boiling water, not sufficiently high 
to effect any well-marked chemical change. 

In the trials I have made, founded on this proposition, the 
specific gravity has been ascertained in the ordinary hydro- 
statical w r ay ; — the portions subjected to trial, in the instance 
of fish, have been taken from the thicker part of the back, 
freed from skin and bone, composed chiefly of muscle. And 
the same or similar portions have been used for the purpose 
of determining their solid contents, dried in platina or glass 
capsules of known weight, and exposed to the process of dry- 
ing till they ceased to diminish in weight. 

The trials on the other articles of diet, made for the sake 
of comparison, both as regards specific gravity (excepting 
the liquids), and the abstraction of the hygroscopic water, or 
water capable of being dissipated by the degree of tempera- 
ture mentioned, have been conducted in a similar manner. 

The balance used was one of great delicacy, at home, or a 
small portable one, when from home, of less delicacy, yet 
turning readily with one-tenth of a grain. 

The results obtained are given in the following tables. In 
the first, on some different species of fish ; in the second, on 
some other articles of animal food. 

I have thought it right, whenever it was in my power, to 
notice not only the time when the fish were taken, but also 
the place where they were procured, — not always so precise 
as I could wish, — as both season and locality may have an 
influence on their quality individually. When the place men- 
tioned is inland, it must be understood that, in the instance 
of sea-fish, they were from the nearest sea-port. 

in relation to Diet. 
Table I. 


Species of Fish. 




per cent. 

Place where got, and Time. 

Turbot, Rhombus 1 

maximus, J 
Brill, R. vulgaris, 
Haddock, Gadus aigle- 1 

finus, . . j 
Hake, G. merlucius, 
Pollack, G. pollachius, 
Whiting, Merlangus \ 

vulgaris, . . J 
Common Cod, Mor- 1 

rhua vulgaris, . j 
Red Gurnard, Trig la \ 

cuculus, . . j 
Dory, Zeusfaber, . 
Mackerel, Scomber-\ 

scombrus, . . j 
Sole, Solea vulgaris, 
Do. do., . 
ThornbackjZZcwa clavata 

Salmon, Salmo salar, 

Sea-Trout, S. eriox, . 
Charr, S. umbla, 

Trout, S.fario, 

Do. do., . 

Smelt, S. eperlanus, . 
Eel, Angtiilla lati-\ 
rostris, . j 





























March. Liverpool. 

October. Penzance. 

August. Ambleside. 

October. Penzance. 
October. Penzance. 

March. Chester. 

April. Ambleside. 

October. Penzance. 
October. Penzance. 
October. Penzance. 

February. Ambleside. 

February. Ambleside. 

October. Penzance. 
( March. River Boyne, 
I Ireland. Fresh run 
I from the sea. 

June. Ambleside. 
J November. Winder- 
\ mere. 

( March. Lo\igh Corrib, 
I Ireland. Weight about 
I -Jib., in good condition. 
J Oct. River Brathay. A 
{ small fish of about 2 oz. 

March. Liverpool. 

June. Ambleside. 

Table II. 

Kinds of Food. 


per cent. 

Place and Time. 

Beef, sirloin, 

Veal, loin, 

Mutton, leg, 

Pork, loin, ■ 

Pemican, composed of 1 
beef and suet, J 

Common fowl, breast, 

Grey Plover, breast, . 

Cow's milk, new, be- \ 
fore the cream had > 
separated, . . ) 

White of hen's egg, . 

Yolk of the same, 











March. Ambleside. 

November. Ambleside. 

November. Ambleside. 

January. Ambleside, 
f Victualling-yard, Ports- 
\ mouth. 

November. Ambleside. 

November. Ambleside. 



228 Dp Davy's Observations on Fish, 

These results I would wish to have considered merely as 
I have proposed in introducing them, viz., as approximate 
ones. Some of them may not be perfectly correct, owing to 
circumstances of a vitiating kind, especially the time of keep- 
ing. Thus, in the case of the whiting, which was brought 
from Chester, its specific gravity, and its proportion of solid 
matter may be given a little too high, owing to some loss of 
moisture before the trials on it were made. Casting the eye 
over the first table, it will be seen that the range of nutri- 
tive power, as denoted by the specific gravity, and the pro- 
portion of solid matter, is pretty equable, except in a very few 
instances, and chiefly those of the salmon and mackerel ; the 
one exhibiting a high specific gravity, with a large proportion 
of solid matter; the other a low specific gravity, with a still 
larger proportion of matter, viz., muscle and oil, and, in con- 
sequence of the latter, the inferior specific gravity. A por- 
tion of the mackerel, I may remark, merely by drying and 
pressure between folds of blotting paper, lost 15*52 per cent, 
of oil. Oil also abounded in the sea-trout and eel, and hence 
the large amount of residue they afforded. 

Comparing seriatim the first table with the second, the 
degree of difference of nutritive power of those articles stand- 
ing highest in each, appears to be inconsiderable, and not 
great in the majority of the others, exclusive of the liquids, — 
hardly in accordance with popular and long-received notions. 

2. Of the Peculiar Qualities of Fish, as Articles of Diet. 

I am not prepared to enter into any minute detail on this 
important subject, from want of sufficient data. 

That fish generally are easy of digestion, excepting such 
as have oil interfused in their muscular tissue, appears to be 
commonly admitted, as the result of experience, — a result 
that agrees well with the greater degree of softness of their 
muscular fibre, comparing it with that either of birds or of 
the mammalia, such as are used for food. 

A more interesting consideration is, whether fish, as a 
diet, is more conducive to health than the flesh of the ani- 
mals just mentioned, and especially to the prevention of 
scrofulous and tubercular disease. 

in relation to Diet. 229 

From such information as I have been able to collect, I am 
disposed to think that they are. It is well known that fish- 
ermen and their families, living principally on fish, are com- 
monly healthy, and may I not say above the average ; and I 
think it is pretty certain, that they are less subject to the 
diseases referred to than any other class, without exception. 
At Plymouth, at the public dispensary, a good opportunity 
is afforded of arriving at some positive conclusion, — some 
exact knowledge of the comparative prevalency of these dis- 
eases in the several classes of the community. The able 
physician of that institution, my friend Dr Cookworthy, at 
my request, has had the goodness to consult its records, and 
from a communication with which he has favoured me, it ap- 
pears that of 654 cases of " confirmed phthisis and of hae- 
moptysis, the probable result of tuberculosis," entered in the 
register of the dispensary, 234 males, 376 females, whose 
ages and occupations are given individually, the small num- 
ber of four only were of fishermen's families, — one male and 
three females, — which is in the ratio of one to 163*2 ; and of 
watermen " who fish with hook and line, when other work is 
scarce, generally very poor, and of habits generally by no 
means temperate or regular," the number, including their 
families, did not exceed eleven, of whom ten were males, one 
a female, which is in the ratio of one to 58*8. The entries 
from which the 654 cases are extracted, Dr Cookworthy 
states, exceed 20,000. He assures me, that had he taken 
scrofula in all its forms, the result would, he believes, have 
been more conclusive. 

Such a degree of exemption as this return indicates in the 
instances of fishermen and boatmen, is certainly very re- 
markable, and deserving of attention, especially considering 
the prevalency of tubercular consumption, not only in the 
working classes generally throughout the United Kingdom, 
but also amongst the regular troops, whether serving at 
home or abroad, and having an allowance of meat daily, but 
rarely tasting fish.* 

* In 1205 fatal cases, not selected, in which the lungs were examined at the 
General Hospital, Fort Pitt, Chatham, tubercles were found to exist in 734 
(61 "7 per cent.) See the author's " Notes on the Ionian Islands and Malta," 
vol. ii., p. 312 ; for details. 

230 Dr Davy's Observations on Fish, 

If the exemption be mainly owing to diet, and that a fish 
diet, it may be presumed that there enters into the composi- 
tion of fish, some element not common to other kinds of food, 
whether animal or vegetable. This I believe is the case, 
and that the peculiar element is iodine. 

I may briefly mention, that in every instance in which I 
have sought for this substance in sea-fish, I have found dis- 
tinct traces of it, and also, though not so strongly marked, 
in the migratory fish, but not in fresh-water fish. The trials 
I have hitherto made have been limited to the following, viz., 
the Red Gurnet, Mackerel, Haddock, Common Cod, Whit- 
ing, Sole, Ling, Herring, Pilchard, Salmon, Sea-Trout, Smelt, 
and Trout. In each instance, from about a quarter-a-pound 
to a pound of fish was dried and charred, lixiviated, and re- 
duced to ashes, which were again washed. From the sea- 
fish, the washings of the charcoal afforded a good deal of 
saline matter on evaporation ; the washings of the ash less. 
The saline matter from both consisted principally of common 
salt, had a pretty strong alkaline reaction, and with starch 
and aqua regia afforded, by the blue hue produced, clear 
proof of the presence of iodine. In the instance of the fresh- 
run Salmon, Sea-Trout, and Smelt, a slight trace of iodine 
was thus detected ; in the spent Salmon descending to the 
sea, only a just perceptible trace of it was observable, and 
not a trace of it either in the Parr or in the Trout. 

That iodine should enter into the composition of sea-fish, 
is no more perhaps than might be expected, considering 
that it forms a part of so many of the inhabitants of the sea 
on which fish feed ; — to mention only what I have ascer- 
tained myself, — in the common Shrimp I have detected it in 
an unmistakeable manner, and also in the Lobster and 
Crab, and likewise in the common Cockle, Mussel, and Oyster. 

The medicinal effects of cod-liver oil, in mitigating if not 
in curing pulmonary consumption, appear to be well esta- 
blished. And as this oil contains iodine, the analogy seems 
to strengthen the inference that sea-fish generally may be 
alike beneficial. 

Should further inquiry confirm this conclusion, the prac- 
tical application of it is obvious; and fortunately, should 

in relation to Diet. 231 

fish ever come into greater request as articles of food, the 
facility with which they may be preserved, even without salt, 
by thorough drying, would be much in favour of their use. 
I lay stress on thorough drying, as that seems essential, — 
for preservation, I believe even hygroscopic water should be 
excluded. Even in the instance of those articles of food 
which can be preserved in their ordinary dry state, the ex- 
pulsion of this water would be advantageous under certain 
circumstances, were it merely on account of diminution of 
weight. Thus, referring to the second table, it will be seen 
that the Pemican, carefully prepared in the Portsmouth 
Victualling-Office, lost by thorough drying 13*75 per cent., so 
much being the water it contained in a hygroscopic state, — 
a lightening of weight that, to the Arctic land explorer, could 
not fail to be welcome and useful. 

The inference regarding the salutary effects of fish de- 
pending on the presence of iodine, in the prevention of tuber- 
cular disease, might be extended to some other diseases, espe- 
cially to that formidable malady goitre, the mitigation or 
cure of which has, in so many instances, been effected by 
iodine ; and which, so far as I amaware, is entirely unknown 
amongst the inhabitants of sea-ports and sea-coasts, who, 
from their situation, cannot fail to make more or less use of 

Amongst the many questions that may be asked in addi- 
tion to those I have proposed, I shall notice one more only, 
and that in conclusion. It is, whether the different parts of 
the same fish are likely to be equally beneficial in the man- 
ner inferred, — the beneficial effect, it is presumed, depending 
on the presence of iodine. From the few experiments I have 
yet made, I am led to infer, reasoning as before, that the 
effects of different parts will not be the same, inasmuch as 
their inorganic elements are not the same. I may instance 
liver, muscle, and roe or milt. In the ash of the liver and 
muscle of sea-fish, I have always found a large proportion 
of saline matter, common salt abounding, with a minute por- 
tion of iodine, — rather more in the liver than in the muscle, 
— and free alkali, or alkali in a state to occasion an alkaline 

232 Dr Daffy's Observations on Fish, 

reaction, as denoted by test paper ; whilst in their roe and 
milt I have detected very little saline matter, no trace of 
iodine, or of free alkali ; on the contrary, a free acid, the 
phosphoric, analogous to what occurs in the ash of the yolk 
of the domestic fowl, — and in consequence of which, the 
complete incineration of the roe of the fish and its milt, like 
that of the yolk of the egg, is very difficult. 

The same conclusion, on the same ground, viz., the ab- 
sence of iodine, is applicable to fresh- water fish, — a conclu- 
sion that can hardly be tested by experience, nor is it of 
practical importance, since fish of this kind enters so spa- 
ringly into the ordinary diet of the people. 

Lesketh How, Ambleside, 
April 14, 1853. 

P.S. — I have mentioned briefly the test employed to detect 
iodine. To prevent obscurity, may I be permitted to add a 
few particulars relative to the mode of proceeding ? On a 
portion of starch in fine powder, that is, in its granular state, 
aqua regia is poured, or about equal parts of nitric and mu- 
riatic acid, in a platina capsule, and then well mixed, using 
a glass rod. The salt to be tested, either in solution or solid, 
is then added. The blue tint due to the presence of iodine 
is immediately produced, if any of this substance, or a suffi- 
ciency of it to take effect, be present. The delicacy of this 
test is, I believe, well known. I have by means of it de- 
tected iodine, when one-tenth of a grain of the iodide of 
potassium was dissolved in 16,775 grains of water. Rela- 
tive to this method, I may further remark, that by well mix- 
ing the acid and starch, not only is the starch reduced to a 
gelatinous state favourable for being acted on by the iodine, 
as liberated by the action of the chlorine, but also that the 
excess of chlorine is, to a great extent, got rid of. The 
platina capsule has appeared preferable to one of glass, as 
shewing the effect of colour by reflected light more readily 
and distinctly ; and also, I am disposed to think, from some 
peculiar influence which the metal exercises, favouring the 

in relation to Diet. 233 

combination of the starch and iodine, similar, it may be, to 
that of spongy platinum, in effecting the union of oxygen and 

In seeking for iodine in animal substances by incineration, 
it may be well to keep in mind, that, experimentally con- 
sidered, the liability to error lies in underrating, rather than 
in overrating the result by the methods employed, and that 
mainly in consequence of more or less of loss of iodine being 
sustained in the process of combustion, incineration, and 
evaporation used. To illustrate this by a simple experiment, 
I may mention that a portion of water, equivalent to about 
1525 grains, in which were dissolved 10 grains of common 
salt, and *09 grain of iodide of potassium, was quickly evapo- 
rated to dryness by boiling. Previously, the iodine could be 
detected in the mixture by the test I have used ; but not 
afterwards, when the residual salt was dissolved in the same 
quantity of water ; proving how there had been a loss of the 
iodine in the operation of boiling ; a loss chemists are fami- 
liar with, of substances in themselves not volatile, carried 
off suspended in aqueous vapour. 

In stating the comparative exemption of fishermen and 
their families from pulmonary consumption, as indicated by 
the Plymouth Dispensary return, I have not given the total 
number of this class of persons. This deficiency I am now 
able to supply. From information which I have received, for 
which I am indebted to the Registrar- General, it would ap- 
pear, that of the total male population of Plymouth (24,605), 
the number of fishermen is 726, exclusive of 37 pilots. This 
large proportional number renders the fact of their exemp- 
tion the more remarkable, and especially comparing them 
with a class of the population, altogether different in their 
habits, and, it maybe presumed in their diet, using fish only 
occasionally when abundant and cheap, — these are the cord- 
wainers or shoemakers, whose number altogether (males) is 
608. Now, on consulting the Dispensary return, I find, that 
the total number of this class that have died of the disease 
under consideration, has been 37, viz., 19 males and 18 
females ! 

234 Thomas H. Huxley, Esq., on the 

Reflecting on the fact, that iodine has been detected in all 
the trials I have hitherto made on sea-fish, it seemed proba- 
ble that guano, considering its origin, would not be destitute 
of this substance ; and the result of experiments has been 
confirmatory ; using the test-method noticed above, a distinct 
indication of its presence was obtained, both in the instance 
of the Peruvian and African guano, the only two I have yet 

Lesketh liow, June 1, 1853. 

On the Identity of Structure of Plants and Animals. By 
Thomas H. Huxley, Esq., F.R.S. Read before the Royal 

The lecturer commenced by referring to his endeavours 
last year to shew that the distinction between living creatures 
and those which do not live, consists in the fact, that while 
the latter tend to remain as they are, unless the operation 
of some external cause effect a change in their condition, the 
former have no such inertia, but pass spontaneously through 
a definite succession of states — different in kind and order of 
succession for different species, but always identical in the 
members of the same species. 

There is however another character of living bodies, Or- 
ganization — which is usually supposed to be their most strik- 
ing peculiarity, as contrasted with beings which do not live ; 
and it was to the essential nature of organization that the 
lecturer on the present occasion desired to direct attention. 

An organized body, does not necessarily possess organs in 
the physiological sense — parts, that is, which discharge some 
function necessary to the maintenance of the whole. Neither 
the germ nor the lowest animals and plants possess organs 
in this sense, and yet they are organized. 

It is not mere external form, again, which constitutes or- 
ganization. On the table there was a lead-tree (as it is called), 
which, a mere product of crystallization, possessed the com- 
plicated and graceful form of a delicate fern. If a section 

Identity of Structure of Plants and Animals. 235 

were made of one of the leaflets of this tree, it would be found 
to possess a structure optically and chemically homogeneous 

Make a section of any young portion of a true plant, and 
the result will be very different. It will be found to be nei- 
ther chemically nor optically homogeneous, but to be com- 
posed of small definite masses containing a large quantity of 
nitrogen, imbedded in a homogeneous matrix having a very 
different chemical composition ; containing in fact abundance 
of a peculiar substance, Cellulose. 

The nitrogenous bodies may be more or less solid or vesi- 
cular, and they may or may not be distinguished into a cen- 
tral mass {nucleus of authors) and a peripheral portion (con- 
tents, Primordial utricle of authors.) On account of the 
confusion in the existing nomenclature, the lecturer proposed 
the term Endoplasts for them. 

The cellulose matrix, though at first unquestionably a 
homogeneous continuous substance, readily breaks up into 
definite portions surrounding each endoplast : — and these 
portions have therefore conveniently, though, as the lecturer 
considered, erroneously, been considered to be independent 
entities under the name of cells — these, by their union, and 
by the excretion of a hypothetical intercellular substance, 
being supposed to build up the matrix. On the other hand, 
the lecturer endeavoured to shew that the existence of sepa- 
rate cells is purely imaginary, and that the possibility of 
breaking up the tissue of a plant into such bodies, depends 
simply upon the mode in which certain chemical and physi- 
cal differences have arisen in the primarily homogeneous 
matrix, to which, in contradistinction to the endoplast, he 
proposed to give the name of Periplast or periplastic sub- 

In all young animal tissues the structure is essentially the 
same, consisting of a homogeneous periplastic substance with 
imbedded endoplasts (nuclei of authors) ; as the lecturer 
illustrated by reference to diagrams of young cartilage, con- 
nective tissue, muscle, epithelium, &c. &c. ; and he therefore 
drew the conclusion that the common structural character of 
living bodies, as opposed to those which do not live, is the 

^36 Thomas H. Huxley, Esq., on the 

existence in the former of a local physico-chemical differ- 
entiation ; while the latter are physically and chemically 
homogeneous throughout. 

These facts, in their general outlines, have been well known 
since the promulgation, in 1838, of the celebrated cell-theory 
of Schwann. Admitting to the fullest extent the service 
which this theory had done in anatomy and physiology, the 
lecturer endeavoured to shew that it was nevertheless in- 
fected by a fundamental error, which had introduced con- 
fusion into all later attempts to compare the vegetable with 
the animal tissues. This error arose from the circumstance 
that when Schwann wrote, the primordial utricle in the vege- 
table cell was unknown. Schwann, therefore, who started 
in his comparison of animal and vegetable tissues from the 
structure of cartilage, supposed that the corpuscle of the 
cartilage cavity was homologous with the " nucleus" of the 
vegetable cell, and that therefore all bodies in animal tissues, 
homologous with the cartilage corpuscles, were " nuclei." 
The latter conclusion is a necessary result of the premises, 
and therefore the lecturer stated that he had carefully re- 
examined the structure of cartilage, in order to determine 
which of its elements corresponded with the primordial utricle 
of the plant, — the important missing structure of which 
Schwann had given no account — working subsequently from 
cartilage to the different tissues with which it may be traced 
into direct or indirect continuity, and thus ascertaining the 
same point for them. 

The general result of these investigations may be thus ex- 
pressed : — In all the animal tissues the so-called nucleus 
(endoplasts) is the homologue of the primordial utricle {with 
nucleus and contents) (endoplast) of the plant, the other 
histological elements being invariably modifications of the 
periplastic substance. 

Upon this view we find that all the discrepancies which 
had appeared to exist between the animal and vegetable 
structures disappear, and it becomes easy to trace the ab- 
solute identity of plan in the two, — the differences between 
them being produced merely by the nature and form of the 
deposits in, or modifications of, the periplastic substance. 

Identity of Structure of Plants and Animals. 237 

Thus in the plant, the endoplast of the young tissue be- 
comes a " primordial utricle," in which a central mass, the 
" nucleus," mayor may not arise ; persisting for a longer or 
for a shorter time, it may grow, divide and subdivide, but it 
never (?) becomes metamorphosed into any kind of fcissue. 

The periplastic substance follows to some extent the 
changes of the endoplast, inasmuch as it generally, though 
not always, grows in when the latter has divided, so as to 
separate the two newly-formed portions from one another ; 
but it must be carefully borne in mind, though it is a point 
which has been greatly overlooked, that it undergoes its own 
peculiar metamorphoses quite independently of the endo- 
plast. This the lecturer illustrated by the striking case of 
the sphagnum leaf, in which the peculiarly thickened cells 
can be shewn to acquire their thickening fibre after the total 
disappearance of the primordial utricle ; and he further 
quoted M. von Mohl's observations as to the early disappear- 
ance of the primordial utricle in woody cells in general, in 
confirmation of the same views. 

Now, these metamorphorses of the periplastic substance 
are twofold : 1. Chemical ; 2. Morphological. 

The chemical changes may consist in the conversion of the 
cellulose into xylogen, &c. &c, or in the deposit of salts, silica, 
&c, in the periplastic substance. Again the periplastic sub- 
stance around each endoplast may remain of one chemical 
composition, or it may be different in the outer part (so-called 
intercellular substance) from what it is in the inner (so- 
called cell-wall). 

As to morphological changes in the periplastic substance, 
they consist either in the development of cavities in its sub- 
stance — vacuolation (development of so-called intercellular 
passages), or in fibrillation (spiral fibres, &c.) 

It is precisely the same in the animal. 

The endoplast may here become differentiated into a nu- 
cleus and a primordial utricle (as sometimes in cartilage), 
or more usually it does not, — one or two small solid particles 
merely arising or existing from the first, as the so-called 
" nucleoli ;'' — it persists for a longer or shorter time ; it 
divides and subdivides, but it never (except perhaps in the 

238 Thomas H. Huxley, Esq., on the 

case of the spermatozoa and the thread-cells of Medusa?, &c.) 
hecomes metamorphosed into any tissue. 

The periplastic substance, on the other hand, undergoes 
quite independent modifications. By chemical change or de- 
posit it acquires horn, collagen, chondrin, syntonin, fats, 
calcareous salts, according as it becomes epithelium, con- 
nective tissue, cartilage, muscle, nerve, or bone ; and in 
some cases the chemical change in the immediate neighbour- 
hood of the endoplast is different from that which has taken 
place exteriorly, — so that the one portion becomes separable 
from the other by chemical or mechanical means ; whence, 
for instance, has arisen the assumption of distinct walls for 
the bone-lacunae and cartilage cavities ; of cell contents and 
of intercellular substance as distinct histological elements. 

The morphological changes in the periplastic substance of 
the animal, again, are of the same nature as in the plant : — 
vacuolation and fibrillation (by which latter term is under- 
stood, not only the actual breaking up of a tissue in definite 
lines, but the tendency to do so). Vacuolation of the 
periplastic substance is seen to its greatest extent in the 
11 areolar" connective tissue ; Fibrillation in tendons, fibro- 
cartilages, and muscles. 

In both plants and animals, then, there is one histological 
element, the endoplast, which does nothing but grow and vege- 
tatively repeat itself ; the other element, the periplastic sub- 
stance, being the subject of all the chemical and morphologi- 
cal metamorphoses, in consequence of which specific tissues 
arise. The differences between the two kingdoms are main- 
ly, 1. That in the plant the endoplast grows, and as the pri- 
mordial utricle, attains a large comparative size — while in 
the animal the endoplast remains small, the principal bulk 
of its tissues being formed by the periplastic substance ; and 
2 ; in the nature of the chemical changes which take place 
in the periplastic substance in each case. This distinction, 
however, does not always hold good, the Ascidians furnishing 
examples of animals whose periplastic substance contains 

"The plant, then, is an animal confined in a wooden case ; 
and Nature, like Sycorax, holds thousands of ' delicate Ariels' 

Identity of Structure of Plants and Animals. 239 

imprisoned within every oak. She is jealous of letting us 
know this, and among the higher and more conspicuous forms 
of plants, reveals it only by such obscure manifestations as 
the shrinking of the Sensitive Plant, the sudden clasp of the 
Dioncea, or, still more slightly, by the phenomena of the Cy- 
closis. But among the immense variety of creatures which 
belong to the invisible world, she allows more liberty to her 
Dryads ; and the Protococci, the Volvox, and indeed all the 
Algae, are, during one period of their existence, as active as 
animals of a like grade in the scale. True, they are doomed 
eventually to shut themselves up within their wooden cages 
and remain quiescent, but in this respect they are no worse 
off than the polype, or the oyster even. 1 ' 

In conclusion, the lecturer stated his opinion that the cell- 
theory of Schwann consists of two portions of very unequal 
value, the one anatomical, the other physiological. So far 
as it was based upon an ultimate analysis of living beings, 
and was an exhaustive expression of their anatomy, so far 
will it take its place among the great advances in science. 
But its value is purely anatomical, and the attempts which 
have been made by its author, and by others, to base upon it 
some explanation of the physiological phenomena of living 
beings by the assumption of cell-force, metabolic-force, &c. 
&c, cannot be said to be much more philosophical than the 
old notions of " the actions of the vessels," of which physio- 
logists have lately taken so much pains to rid themselves. 

" The living body has often, and justly, been called, ' the 
house we live in.' Suppose that one, ignorant of the mode 
in which a house is built, were to pull it to pieces, and find 
it to be composed of bricks and mortar, — would it be very 
philosophical on his part to suppose that the house was built 
by brick-force ? But this is just what has been done with 
the human body ; we have broken it up into ' cells,' and now 
we account for its genesis by cell-force." 


On Changes of Level in the Pacific Ocean. 
By J. D. Dana, Esq. 

Evidences of change of level in the Pacific are to be looked 
for in the height or condition of the coral-reef formations or 
deposits, in the character of the igneous rocks, and in the 
features of the surface. The points of evidence are as 
follow : — 

A. Evidences of Elevation. 

1. Patches of coral reef, or deposits of shells and mud 
from the reefs, above the level where they are at present 
forming. — The coral-reef rock has been shewn occasionally 
to increase by growth of coral to a height of four to six 
inches above low-tide level, when the tide is but three feet, 
and to twice this height with a tide of six feet. It may 
therefore be stated as a general fact, that the limit to which 
coral may groiv above ordinary low tide, is about one sixth 
the height of the tide, though it seldom attains this height. 

Beach accumulations of large masses seldom exceed eight 
feet above high tide, and the finer fragments and sand may 
raise the deposit to ten feet. But with the wind and waves 
combined, or on prominent points where these agents may 
act from opposite directions, such accumulations may be 
thirty to forty feet in height. These are drift deposits, 
finely laminated, generally with a sandy texture, and com- 
monly without a distinguishable fragment of coral or shell ; 
and in most of these particulars they are distinct from reef 
rocks. (Pp. 369, 370, vol. xi.) 

2. Sedimentary deposits or layers of rolled stones inter- 
stratified among the igneous layers. 

3. Compactness of the igneous rocks. — The great un- 
certainty of this kind of evidence has been shewn in another 


B. Evidences of Subsidence. 

1. The existence of wide and deep channels between an 
island and any of its coral reefs ; or, in other words, the 
existence of barrier reefs. 

Changes of Level in the Pacific Ocean. 241 

2. Lagoon islands or atolls. 

3. Submerged atolls. 

4. Deep bay indentations in coasts, as the terminations of 
valleys. — In the remarks upon the valleys of the Pacific 
Islands, it has been shewn that they were in general formed 
by the waters of the land, unaided by the sea ; that the sea 
tends only to level off the coast, or give it an even outline. 
When, therefore, we find the several valleys continued on 
beneath the sea, and inclosing ridges standing out in long 
narrow points, there is reason to suspect that the island has 
subsided after the formation of its valleys. For such an 
island as Tahiti could not subside even a few scores of feet 
without changing the even outline into one of deep coves or 
bays, the ridges projecting out to sea on every side, like the 
spread legs of a spider. The absence of such coves, on the 
contrary, is evidence that any subsidence which has taken 
place, has been comparatively smaller in amount. 

5. Sea-shore alluvial flats or deposits. 

6. The lava surface of a volcanic island, sloping without 
interruption beneath the water, instead of terminating in a 
shore cliff of a hundred feet or so. 

C. Probable evidence of Subsidence now in progress. 

1. An atoll reef without green islets, or with but few small 
spots of verdure. — The accumulation requisite to keep the 
reef at the surface-level, during a slow subsidence, renders 
it impossible for the reef to rise above the waves, unless the 
subsidence is extremely slow. 

From the above review of evidences of change of level, 
it appears that when there are no barrier reefs, and only 
fringing reefs, the corals afford no evidence of subsidence. 
But it does not follow that the existence of only fringing 
reefs, or of no reefs at all, is proof against a subsidence hav- 
ing taken place. For we have elsewhere shewn that through 
volcanic action, and at times other causes, corals may not 
have begun to grow till a recent period, and therefore we 
learn nothing from them as to what may previously have 
taken place. While, therefore, a distant barrier is evidence 
of change of level, we can draw no conclusion either one way 

VOL. LV. NO. CX. — OCTOBER 1853. Q 

242 James D. Dana, Esq.. on 

or the other, as is clone by Darwin, from the faet that the 
reefs are small or wholly wanting, until the possible opera- 
tion of the several causes limiting their distribution has been 
duly considered. 

The influence of volcanoes in preventing the growth of 
zoophytes extends only so far as the submarine action may 
heat the water ; and it may therefore be confined within a few 
miles of a volcanic island, or to certain parts only of its shores. 

There are three epochs of changes in elevation which m ay 
be distinguished and separately considered : 1. The subsi- 
dence indicated by atolls and barrier reefs ; 2. Elevations 
during more recent periods, and also during the same epoch 
of subsidence ; 3. Changes of level anterior to the atoll sub- 
sidence, and the growth of recent corals. On this last point 
we have few facts. 

t. Subsidence indicated by atolls and barrier reefs. 

In a survey of the ocean, the eye observing its numerous 
atolls, sees in each, literally as well as poetically, a coral urn 
upon a rocky island that lies buried beneath the waves. 
Through the equatorial latitudes such marks of subsidence 
abound, from the eastern Paumotu to the western Carolines, 
a distance of about 6000 geographical miles. In the Pau- 
motu Archipelago there are about eighty of these atolls. 
Going westward, a little to the north of west, they are 
found to dot the ocean at irregular intervals ; and at the 
Tarawan Group the Carolines commence, which consist of 
seventy or eighty atolls. 

If a line be drawn from Pitcairn's Island, the southern- 
most of the Paumotus, by the Gambier Group, the north of 
the Society Group, Samoa, and the Salomon Islands, to the 
Pelews, it will form nearly a straight boundary trending N. 
70° W., running between the atolls on one side, and the 
high islands of the Pacific on the other, the former lying to 
the north of the line, and the latter to the south. 

Between this boundary line and the Hawaiian Islands, an 
area nearly two thousand miles wide and six thousand long, 
there are two hundred and four islands, of which only three, 
are Mgh, exclusive of the eight Marquesas. These three 

Changes of Level in the Pacific Ocean. 243 

are Ualan, Banabe (Ascension or Pounypet), and Hogoleu, 
all in the Caroline Archipelago. South of the same line, 
within three degrees of it, there is an occasional atoll ; but 
beyond this distance there are none excepting the few in the 
Friendly Group, and one or two in the Feejees. 

If each coral island scattered over this wide area indicates 
a subsidence of an island, we may believe that the subsidence 
was general throughout the area. Moreover, each atoll, 
could we measure the thickness of the coral constituting it, 
would inform us nearly of the extent of the subsidence 
where it stands ; for they are actually so many registers 
placed over the ocean, marking out not only the site of a 
buried island, but also the depth at which it lies covered. 
We have not the means of applying the evidence ; but there 
are facts at hand which may give, at least, comparative 

a. We observe, first, that barrier reefs are, in general, evi- 
dence of less subsidence than atoll reefs (xiii. 186), conse- 
quently the great preponderance of the former just below the 
southern boundary line of the coral island area, and farther 
south the entire absence of atolls, while atolls prevail so uni- 
versally north of this line, are evidence of little depression 
just below the line ; of less further south ; and of the greatest 
amount north of the line, or over the coral area. 

b. The subsidence producing an atoll, when continued, gra- 
dually reduces its size, until finally it becomes so small that 
the lagoon is obliterated ; and consequently a prevalence of 
these small islands is presumptive evidence of the greater sub- 
sidence. We observe, in application of this principle, that 
the coral islands about the equator, live or ten degrees south 
between thePaumotus and the Tarawan Islands, are the small- 
est of the ocean : several of them are without lagoons, and 
some not a mile in diameter. A.t the same time, in the Paumo- 
tus, and among the Tarawan and Marshall Islands, there are 
atolls twenty to fifty miles in length, and rarely one less than 
three miles. It is probable, therefore, that the subsidence in- 
dicated was greatest at some distance north of the boundary 
line, over the region of small equatorial islands between the 
meridian of 150° W. and 180°. 

Q 2 

244 James D. Dana, Esq., on 

c. When, after thus reducing the size of the atoll, the sub- 
sidence continues its progress, or when it is too rapid for the 
growing reef, it finally sinks the coral island, which, there- 
fore, disappears from the ocean. Now it is a remarkable 
fact that while the islands about the equator above alluded 
to indicate greater subsidence than farther south, north of 
these islands, that is, between them and the Hawaiian Group, 
there is a wide blank of ocean without an island, which is 
near twenty degrees in breadth. This area lies betweeen 
the Hawaiian, the Fanning, and the Marshall Islands, and 
stretches off between the first and last of those groups, far to 
the north-west. 

Is it not, then, a legitimate conclusion that the subsidence 
which was least to the south beyond the boundary line, and 
increased northward, was still greater or more rapid over this 
open area ; that the subsidence which reduced the size of the 
islands about the equator to mere patches of reef, was farther 
continued, and caused the total disappearance of islands that 
once covered this part of the ocean \ 

d. That the subsidence gradually diminished south-west- 
wardly from some point of greatest depression situated to the 
northward and eastward, is apparent from the Feejee Group 
alone. Its north-east portion, as the chart shews (see vol. 
xiv.), consists of immense barriers, with barely a single point 
of rock remaining of the submerged land ; while in the west 
and south-west there are basaltic islands of great magnitude. 
Again, along to the north side of the Vanikoro Group, the 
Salomon Islands, and New Ireland, there are coral atolls, 
though scarcely one to the south. 

In view of this combination of evidence, we cannot doubt 
that the subsidence increased from the south to the northward 
or north-eastward, and was greatest between the Samoan 
and Hawaiian Islands near the centre of the area destitute 
of islands, about longitude 170° to 175° W., and 8° to 10° N. 

But we may derive some additional knowledge respecting 
this area of subsidence from other facts. 

Hawaiian Range. — We observe that the western islands 
in the Hawaiian Range beyond Bird Island, are coral islands, 
and all indicate some participation in this subsidence. To the 

Changes of Level In the Pacific Ocean. 245 

eastward in the range, Kauai and Oahu have only fringing 
reefs, yet in some places these reefs are half-a-mile to three- 
fourths in width. They indicate a long period since they be- 
gan to grow, which is borne out by the features of Kauai 
shewing a long respite from volcanic action. We conse- 
quently detect proof of but little subsidence of the islands. 
Moreover, there are no deep bays ; and, besides, Kauai has a 
gently sloping coast plain of great extent, with a steep shore 
acclivity of one to three hundred feet, all tending to prove the 
smallness of the subsidence. We should therefore conclude 
that these islands lie near the limits of the subsiding area, 
and that the change of level was greatest at the western ex- 
tremity of the range beyond Kauai. 

Marquesas. — The Marquesas are remarkable for their 
abrupt shores, often inaccessible cliffs, and deep bays. The 
absence of gentle slopes along the shores, their angular fea- 
tures, abrupt soundings close alongside the islands, and deep 
indentations, all bear evidence of subsidence to some extent ; 
for their features are very similar to those which Kauai, or 
Tahiti, would present, if buried half its height in the sea, leav- 
ing only the sharper ridges and peaks out of water. They are 
situated but five degrees north of the Paumotus, where eighty 
islands or more have disappeared, including one at least fifty 
miles in length. There is sufficient evidence that they par- 
ticipated in the subsidence of the latter, but not to the same 
extent. They are nearly destitute of coral. 

Gambler or Mangareva Group. — In the southern limits 
of the Paumotu Archipelago, where, in accordance with the 
foregoing views, the least depression in that region should 
have taken place, there are actually, as we have stated, two 
high islands, Pitcairrts and Gambler s. There is evidence, 
however, in the extensive barrier about the Gambler s> that this 
subsidence, although less than further north, w r as by no means 
of small amount. On page 371, vol. xi., we have estimated 
it at 1150 feet. These islands, therefore, although towards 
the limits of the subsiding area, were still far within it. The 
valley-bays of the Mangareva islets are of great depth, and 
afford additional evidence of the subsidence. 

Tahitian Islands. — The Tahitian Islands, along with Samoa 

246 James 1). Dana, Esq.. on 

and the Feejees, are near the northern limits of the area, 
pointed out. Twenty-five miles to the north of Tahiti, within 
sight from its peaks, lies the coral island Tetuaroa, a register 
of subsidence. Tahiti itself, by its barrier reefs, gives evi- 
dence of the same kind of change ; amounting, however, as we 
have estimated, to a depression of but two hundred and fifty 
or three hundred feet. The north-western islands of the group 
lie more within the coral area, and correspondingly, they have 
wider reefs and channels, and deep bays, indicating a greater 
amount of subsidence. 

Samoa. — The island of Upolu has extensive reefs, which 
in many parts are three-fourths of a mile wide, but no inner 
channel. We have estimated the subsidence at one or two 
hundred feet. The volcanic land west of Apia declines with 
an unbroken gradual slope of one to three degrees beneath the 
sea. The absence of a low cliff is probable evidence of a de- 
pression, as has been elsewhere shewn. The island of Tutuila 
has abrupt shores, deep bays, and little coral. It appears 
probable, therefore, that it has experienced a greater subsi- 
dence than Upolu. Yet the central part of Upolu has very 
similar bays on the north, which would afford apparently the 
same evidence ; and it is quite possible that the facts indicate 
a sinking which either preceded the ejections that now cover 
the eastern and western extremities of Upolu, or accompanied 
this change of level. Sovnii has small reefs, from which we 
gather no certain facts bearing on this subject. East of 
Tutuila is the coral island, Rose. It may be, therefore, that 
the greatest subsidence in the group was at its eastern ex- 

Feejee Islands. — We have already remarked upon this 
group. A large amount of subsidence is indicated by the reefs 
in every portion of the group, but it was greatest beyond 
doubt in the north-eastern part. 

Ladrones. — The Ladrones appear to have undergone their 
greatest subsidence at the north extremity of the range, the 
part nearest the centre of the coral area ; for although the 
fires at the north have continued longest to burn, the islands 
are the smallest of the group, the whole having disappeared 
except the summits, which still eject cinders. The southern 

Changes of Level in the Pacific Ocean. 247 

islands of the group have wide reefs, but they afford no good 
evidence of any great extent of subsidence since the reefs 
began to form. 

We have thus surveyed the borders of the coral area, and 
besides proving the reality of the limits, have ascertained 
some facts with reference to a gradual diminution of the subsi- 
dence towards and beyond these limits. A line from Pitcairn's 
to Bird in the Hawaiian Group appears to have a correspond- 
ing position on the north-east with the southern boundary line 
of the coral area ; the two include a large triangular area. An 
axis nearly bisecting this triangular space, drawn from Pit- 
cairn's toward Japan, actually passes through the region of 
greatest subsidence, as we have before determined it, and may 
be considered the axial line, or line of greatest depression 
for the great area of subsidence. 

It is worthy of special note, that this axial line, or line of 
greatest depression, coincides in direction with the mean trend 
of the great ranges of islands, it having the course N. 52° W. 

The southern boundary line of the coral area, as we have 
laid it down, lies within the area of subsidence, although near 
its limits. 

There are places along this line where this area has been 
prolonged further than elsewhere. One of these regions lies 
between Samoa and Rotuma, and extends down to the Feejees 
and Tonga Group ; another is east of Samoa, reaching towards 
the Hervey Group. Each of these extensions trends parallel 
with the groups of islands, and with the part of the line east of 
Tahiti. It would seem, therefore, that the Society and Samoa 
Islands were regions of less change of level than the deep 
seas about them. 

What may be the extent of the coral subsidence ? — It is 
very evident that the sinking of the Society, Samoan, and 
Hawaiian Islands, has been small compared with that required 
to submerge all the lands on which the Paumotus and the other 
Pacific atolls rest. One, two, or five hundred feet could not 
have buried all the many peaks of these islands. Even the 
1500 feet of depression at the Gambier Group is shewn to be 
at a distance from the axis of the subsiding area. The groups 
of high islands above mentioned contain summits from 4000 to 

2 IS James 1). Dana, Esq., on 

10,400 feet above the sea; and can we believe it possible that 
throughout this large area, when the two hundred islands now 
sunk were above the waves, there were none equal in altitude 
to the mean of these heights ? That all should have been 
within nine thousand feet in elevation, is by no means pro- 
bable. However moderate our estimate, there must still be 
allowed a sinking of several thousand feet ; and however much 
we increase it within probable bounds, we shall not arrive at 
a more surprising change of level than our continents shew 
that they have undergone. 

Between the New Hebrides and Australia, the reefs and 
islands mark out another area of depression, which may have 
been simultaneously in progress. The long reef of one hun- 
dred and fifty miles from the north cape of New Caledonia, and 
the wide barrier on the west, cannot be explained without sup- 
posing a subsidence of one or two thousand feet at the least. 
The distant barrier of New Holland is proof of as great, if 
not greater, subsidence. 

Effect of the subsidence. — The facts surveyed give us a 
long insight into the past, and exhibit to us the Pacific scat- 
tered over with lofty lands, where there are now only humble 
monumental atolls. Had there been no growing coral the 
whole would have passed without a record. These permanent 
registers, planted ages past in various parts of the tropics, 
exhibit, in enduring characters, the oscillations which the 
" stable " earth has since undergone. Thus Divine wisdom 
creates, and makes the creations inscribe their own history ; 
and there is a noble pleasure in deciphering even one sen- 
tence in this Book of Nature. 

From the actual extent of the coral reefs and islands, we 
know that the whole amount of high land lost to the Pacific 
by the subsidence, was at least fifty thousand square miles. 
But since atolls are necessarily smaller than the land they 
cover, and the more so, the farther subsidence has proceeded ; 
since many lands from their abrupt shores, or through vol- 
canic agency, must have had no reefs about them, and have 
disappeared without a mark, and others may have subsided 
too rapidly for the corals to retain themsel ves at the surface, — 
it is obvious that this estimate is far below the truth. It is 

Changes of Level in the Pacific Ocean. 249 

apparent that in many cases islands now disjoined have been 
once connected, and thus several atolls may have been made 
about the heights of a single subsiding land of large size. 
Such facts shew farther error in the above estimate, evin- 
cing that the scattered atolls and reefs do not tell half the 
story. Why is it, also, that the Pacific Islands are confined 
to the tropics, if not that beyond thirty degrees the zoophyte 
could not plant its growing registers \ 

Yet we should beware of hastening to the conclusion that a 
continent once occupied the place of the ocean, or a large 
part of it, which is without proof. To establish the for- 
mer existence of a Pacific continent is an easy matter for the 
fancy ; but geology knows nothing of it, nor even of its pro- 

The island of Banabe, in the Caroline Archipelago, affords 
evidence of a subsidence in progress, as my friend, Mr 
Horatio Hale, the philologist of the expedition, gathered from 
a foreigner who had been for a while a resident on this island. 
Mr Hale remarks, after explaining the character of certain 
sacred structures of stone, " It seems evident that the con- 
structions at Ualan and Banabe are of the same kind, and 
were built for the same purpose. It is also clear that when 
the latter were raised, the islet on which they stand was in 
a different condition from what it now is. For at present 
they are actually in the water ; what were once paths are 
now passages for canoes, and as O'Connell (his informant) 
says, ' w r hen the walls are broken down the water enters the 
enclosures.' " Mr Hale hence infers, " that the land, or the 
whole group of Banabe, and perhaps all the neighbouring 
groups, have undergone a slight depression." He also states 
respecting a small islet near Ualan, ci from the description 
given of Leilei, a change of level of one or two feet would 
render it uninhabitable, and reduce it, in a short time, to the 
same state as the isle of ruins at Banabe." 

Period of the subsidence. — The period during which these 
changes were in progress, was probably since <the tertiary 
epoch. In the island of Metia, elevated over two hundred 
feet, the corals below were the same as those now existing, 
as far as we could judge from the fossilized specimens. At 

250 James D. Dana, Esq., on 

the inner margin of shore reef's, there is the same identity 
with existing genera. We do not claim to have examined 
the basement of the coral islands, and offer these facts as the 
only evidence on this point that is within reach. We cannot 
know with absolute certainty that the present races of zoo- 
phytes may not be the successors of others of the secondary 
epoch : but we do know that we have little reason in facts 
observed for even the suspicion. For a long time volcanic 
action was too general and constant for the growth of corals ; 
and this may have continued to interfere till a comparatively 
late period, if we may judge from the appearance of the rocks 
even on Tahiti. 

The evidence of subsidence from coral islands might be pur- 
sued to other regions in other seas ; but we here only refer 
to the facts on this point presented in our review of the geo- 
graphical distribution of corals (xiii. 338), since we cannot 
speak from personal observation. 

The subsidence has probably for a considerable period 
ceased in most, if not all, parts of the ocean, and subsequent 
elevations of many islands and groups have taken place, which 
we shall soon consider. In some of the Northern Carolines, 
the Pescadores, and perhaps some of the Marshall Islands, 
the proportion of dry land is so very small, compared with 
the great extent of the atoll, that there is reason to suspect 
a slow sinking even at the present time ; and it, is a fact of 
special interest in connection with it that this region is near 
the axial line of greatest depression, where, if in any part, 
the action should be longest continued. 

Among the Kingsmills and Paumotus, there is no reason 
whatever for supposing that a general subsidence is still in 
progress ; the changes indicated are of a contrary character. 

The results to which we have here been led obviously differ, 
in many particulars, from the deductions of Mr Darwin. 

2. Elevations of modern eras in the Pacific. 

Since the period of subsidence, the history of which has 
occupied us in the preceding pages, there has been no equally 
general elevation. Yet various parts of the ocean bear evi 

Changes of Level in the Pacific Ocean. 251 

dence of changes confined to particular islands or groups of 
islands. While the former exemplify one of the grander 
events in the earth's history, in which a large segment of the 
globe was concerned, the latter exhibit its minor changes 
over limited areas. The instances of these changes are so 
numerous and so widely scattered, that they convince us of a 
cessation in the previous general subsidence. 

The most convenient mode of reviewing the subject is to 
state in order the facts relating to each group. 

a. Paumotu Archipelago. — The islands of this archipe- 
lago appear in general to have that height which the ocean 
may give to the materials. Nothing was detected which sa- 
tisfied us of any general elevation in progress through the 
archipelago. The large extent of wooded land shows only 
that the islands have been long at their present level : and 
on this point our own observations confirm those of Mr Dar- 
win. There are examples of elevation in particular islands 
however, some of which are of unusual interest. The in- 
stances examined by the Expedition, were Honden (or Henu- 
ake), Dean's Island (or Nairsa), Aurora (or Metia), and Cler- 
mont Tonnerre. Beside these, Elizabeth Island has been 
described by Beechey, and the same author mentions certain 
facts relating to Ducie's Island and Osnaburgh, which afford 
some suspicions of a rise. 

Honden or Dog Island. — This island is wooded on its 
different sides, and has a shallow lagoon. The beach is eight 
feet high and the land about eleven. There are three en- 
trances to the lagoons, all of which were dry at low water, 
and one only was filled at high water. Around the lagoon, 
near the level of high tide, there were numerous shells of 
Tridacna lying in cavities in the coral rock, precisely as they 
occur alive on the shore reef. As these Tridacnas evidently 
lived where the shells remain, and do not occur alive more 
than six or eight inches, or a foot at the most, above low 
tide, they prove, in connection with the other facts, an ele- 
vation of twenty inches or two feet. 

Nairsa or Dean's Island. — The south side of Dean's 
Island, the largest of the Paumotus, was coasted along by 
the Peacock, and from the vessel we observed that the rim of 

252 James D. Dana, Esq., on 

land consisted for miles of an even wall of coral rock, ap- 
parently six or eight feet above high tide. This wall was 
broken into rude columns, or excavated with arches and 
caverns; in some places the sea had carried it away from 
fifty to one hundred rods, and then there followed again a 
line of columns and walls, with occasional arches as before. 
The reef, formerly lying at the level of low tide, had been 
raised above the sea, and subsequently had undergone degra- 
dation from the waves. The standing columns had some 
resemblance in certain parts to the masses seen here and 
there on the shore platforms of other islands ; but the latter 
are only distantly scattered masses, while on this island, for 
the greater part of the course, there were long walls of reef- 
rock. The height moreover was greater, and they occurred 
too on the leeward side of the island, ranging along nearly 
it whole course. 

The elevation here indicated was at least six feet ; but it 
may have been larger, as the observations were made from 
ship-board. Thirty miles to the southward of Dean's Island, 
we came to Metia, one of the most remarkable examples of 
elevation in the Pacific. 

Metia. — This island has already been described, and its 
elevation stated at two hundred and fifty feet. (See xii. 40.) 

Clermont Tonnerre,* according to Mr Couthouy, shews the 
same evidence of elevation from Tridacnas as Honden Island. 
Clermont Tonnerre and Honden are in the north-eastern 
limits of the Paumotus. 

Elizabeth Island was early shewn to be an elevated coral 
island by Beechey. This distinguished voyager represents 
it as having perpendicular cliffs fifty feet in height. From 
his description, it is obviously of the same character as Me- 
tia ; the elevation is eighty feet. 

Dude's Island is described by Beechey as twelve feet high, 
which would indicate an elevation of at least one or two feet. 

Osnaburgh Island, according to the same author, affords 
evidence of having increased its height since the wreck of the 

* This island was not visited by the writer, as only the officers of the Vin- 
s attempted to land on it. 

Changes of Level in the Pacific Ocean. 253 

Matilda in 1792. He contrasts the change from " a reef of 
rocks," as reported by the crew, to " a conspicuously wooded 
island," the condition when he visited it ; and states further, 
that the anchor, iron-works, and a large gun (4-pounder) of 
this vessel were two hundred yards inside of the line of 
breakers. Captain Beechey suggests that the coral had 
grown, and thus increased the height. But this process 
might have buried the anchor if the reef were covered with 
growing corals (which is improbable), and could not have 
raised its level. If there has been any increase of height 
(which we do not say is certain), it must have arisen from 
subterranean action. 

b. Tahitian Group.— The island of Tahiti presented us no 
conclusive evidence of elevation. The shore plains are said 
to rest on coral, which the mountain debris has covered ; but 
they do not appear to indicate a rise of the land. The de- 
scriptions by different authors of the other islands of this 
group, do not give sufficient reason for confidently believing 
that any of them have been elevated. The change, however, 
of the barrier reef around Bolabola into a verdant islet en- 
circling the island, may be evidence that a long period has 
elapsed since the subsidence ceased ; and as such a change 
is not common in the Pacific, we may suspect that it has 
been furthered by at least a small amount of elevation. 
The observation by the Rev. D. Tyerman with regard to the 
shells found at Huahine high above the sea, may be proof of 
elevation ; but the earlier erroneous conclusions with regard 
to Tahiti, teach us to be cautious in admitting it without a 
more particular examination of the deposit. 

c. Hervey and Rurutu Groups. — These groups lie to the 
south-west and south of Tahiti. 

Atiu (Wateoo of Cook) is a raised coral island. Cook ob- 
serves that it is " nearly like Mangaia." The land near the 
sea is only a bank of coral ten or twelve feet high, and steep 
and rugged. The surface of the island is covered with ver- 
dant hills and plains, with no streams. * 

* Cook's Voyage, vol. i., pp. 180, 197. Williams's Miss. Enterprizes, i., pp. 
47, 48, first Am. edit., Appleton. 

2">4 James D. Dana. Esq., on 

Mauke is a low elevated coral island. 

Mitiaro resembles Mauke.t 

Okatutaia is a low coral island, not more than six or 
seven feet high above the beach, which is coral sand. It has 
a light-reddish soil. 

Mangaia is girted by an elevated coral reef three hundred 
feet in height. Mr Williams speaks of it as coral, with a 
small quantity of fine-grained basalt in the interior of the 
island ; he states again that a broad ridge (the reef) girts 
the hills. + 

Rurutu has an elevated coral reef one hundred and fifty 
feet in height. § 

With regard to the other islands of these groups, Manual, 
Aitutaki, Raro tonga, Remetera, Tubuai, and Raivavai, the 
descriptions by Williams and Ellis appear to shew that 
they have undergone no recent elevation. 

d. Scattered Islands in the latitudes between the Society 
and Samoan Groups. — These coral islands, as far as we can 
ascertain, are low like the Paumotus, excepting some of the 
Fanning Group north of the equator, and possibly Jarvis 
and Maiden. 

Of the Fanning Group (situated near the equator, south 
of the Hawaiian Group), — 

Washington Island is three miles in diameter, without a 
proper lagoon ; the whole surface, as seen by us, was covered 
densely with cocoa-nut trees. This unusual size for an island 
without a lagoon indicates an elevation, which the height of 
the island, estimated at twelve feet, confirms. The elevation 
may have been two or three feet. 

Palmyra Island, just north-west of Washington, is de- 
scribed by Fanning as having two lagoons ; the westernmost 
contains twenty fathoms water. Fanning's Island, to the 

* Williams's Miss. Ent., pp. 39, 47, 264. f H>id., pp. 39, 264. 

% Ibid., pp. 48, 50, 249. See also Mr Darwin, p. 132. 

§ Ibid., p. 50. — Stutchbury describes the coral rock as one hundred 
and fifty feet high (West of England Journal, i.) — Tyerman and Bennet 
describe the island as having a high central peak with lower eminences, 
and speak of the coral rock as two hundred feet high on one side of the bay 
and throe hundred on the other (ii., 102.) — Ellis says that the rocks of the in- 
terior are in part basaltic, and in part vesicular lava, iii., 393. 

Changes of Level in the Pacific Ocean. 255 

south-east of Washington, is described by the same voyager 
as lower than that island. The accounts give no evidence of 

Christmas Island, still farther to the south-east, accord- 
ing to the description of Cook, its discoverer, had the rim of 
land in some parts three miles wide. He mentions narrow 
ridges lying parallel with the sea-coast, which " must have 
been thrown up by the sea, though it does not reach within 
a mile of some of these places." The proof of a small ele- 
vation is decided, but its amount cannot be determined from 
the description. The account of F. D. Bennet (Geographi- 
cal Jour., vii., 226), represents it as a low coral island. 

Jarvis Island, as seen from the Peacock, appeared to be 
eighteen or twenty feet in height, which, if not exaggerated 
by refraction (we think it not probable), would shew an ele- 
vation of six or eight feet. This island is a sand flat, with 
little vegetation, and is but two hundred miles south of 
Christmas Island. 

Maiden, two hundred and fifty miles south-east of Jarvis, 
near latitude 4° S., and longitude 155° W., visited by 
Lord Byron, is described as not over forty feet high ; but 
this may be the whole height, including the height of the 

e. Tonga Islands and others in their vicinity. 

All the islands of the Tonga Group about which there are 
reefs, give evidence of elevation : Tongatabu and the Hapai 
Islands consist solely of coral, and are elevated atolls. 

Eua, at the south extremity of the line, has an undulated, 
mostly grassy surface, in some parts eight hundred feet in 
height. Around the shores, as was seen by us from ship- 
board, there is an elevated layer of coral-reef rock, twenty 
feet thick, worn out into caverns, and with many spout-holes. 
Between the southern shores and the highest part of the 
island, we observed three distinct terraces. Coral is said to 
occur at a height of three hundred feet. From the appear- 
ance of the land, we judged that the interior was basaltic; 
but nothing positive was ascertained with regard to it. 

Tongatabu (an island visited by us) lies near Eua, and is 
in some parts fifty or sixty feet high, though in general but 

256 James D. Dana, Esq., on 

twenty feet. It has a shallow lagoon, into which there are 
two entrances ; some hummocks of coral-reef rock stand 
eight feet out of the water. 

Namuka and most of the Ilapaii cluster, are stated by 
Cook to have abrupt limestone shores, ten to twenty feet in 
height. Namuka has a lagoon or salt lake at centre, one and 
a half-mile broad ; and there is a coral rock in one part 
twenty-five feet high.* 

Vavau, the northernmost of the group, according to Wil- 
liams, is a cluster of elevated islands of coral limestone, 
thirty to one hundred feet in height, having precipitous cliffs, 
with many excavations along the coast, t 

PylstaarVs Island, south of Tongatabu, is a small rocky 
islet without coral. Tafua and Proby are volcanic cones, 
and the former is still active. 

Savage Island, a little to the east of the Tonga Group, re- 
sembles Vavau in its coral constitution and cavernous cliffs. 
It is elevated one hundred feet.% 

Beveridge Reef, a hundred miles south-east of Savage, is 
low coral. 

/. Samoan Islands. — No satisfactory evidences of eleva- 
tion were detected about these islands. 

g. Scattered islands north of Samoa. 

These islands are all of coral, and several indicate an 
elevation of one to six feet. On account of the high tides 
(4 to 6 feet), the sea may give a height of ten or twelve feet 
to the land. 

Swain's, near latitude 11° S., is fifteen to eighteen feet 
above the sea, where highest, and the beach is ten to twelve 
feet high. It is a small island, with a depression at centre, 
but no lagoon. The height proves an elevation of three to 
sioo feet. 

Fahaafo, ninety miles to the north, is fifteen feet high. 
The coral-reef rock is raised in some places three feet above 
the present level of the platform. Elevation at least three 

* Cook's Voyage ; Williams, p. 296. t Williams, p. 427. 

\ Williams, pp. 275, 276. Foster estimates the height at fifty feet, and 
speaks of a depression about the centre. 

Changes of Level in the Pacific Ocean. 257 

Nukonono, or Duke of Clarence, near Fakaafo, was seen 
only from shipboard. 

Oatafu, or Duke of York's, is in some parts fourteen feet 
high. Elevation two or three feet. 

Enderby's and Birnie's, still farther north, are twelve feet 
high. Judging from the double slope of the beach on En- 
derby, this island may have undergone an elevation of two 
feet, the height of the upper slope ; yet we think it doubtful. 

Gardner s, Hull, Sydney, and Newmarket, were visited by 
the Expedition, but no satisfactory evidences of elevation on 
the first three were observed. The last is stated by Captain 
Wilkes to be twenty-five feet in height. 

h. Feejee Islands. — The proofs of an elevation of four 
to six feet about the larger Feejee Islands, Viti Lebu and 
Vanua Lebu, and also Ovalau, are given in our report on 
this group. How far this rise affected other parts of the 
group, I have been unable definitely to determine ; but as the 
extensive barrier reefs in the eastern part of the group rarely 
support a green islet, they rather indicate a subsidence in 
those parts than an elevation. 

i. Islands north of the Feejees. — Home Island, Wallis, 
Ellice, Depeyster, and four islands on the track towards the 
Kingsmills, were passed by the Peacock ; but from the vessel 
no evidences of elevation could be distinguished. The first 
two are high islands, with barriers, and the others are low 
coral. Rotuma (177° 15' E., and 12° 30' N.), is another high 
island, to the west of Wallis's. It has encircling reefs, but 
we know nothing as to its changes of level. 

h. Sandwich Islands. — Oahu affords decided proof of an 
elevation of twenty-five or thirty feet. There is an impres- 
sion afc Honolulu, derived from a supposed increasing height 
in the reef off the harbour, that the island is slowly rising. 
Upon this point I can offer nothing decisive. The present 
height of the reef is not sufficiently above the level to which 
it might be raised by the tides, to render it certain, from this 
kind of evidence, that the suspected elevation is in progress. 

Kauai presents us with no evidence that the island, at the 
present time, is at a higher level than when the coral reefs 
begun ; or at the most, no elevation is indicated beyond a 

VOL. LV. NO. CX. — OCTOBER 1853. 11 

258 James D. Dana, Esq., on 

foot or two. The drift-sand rock of Koloa appears to be a 
proof of elevation, from its resemblance to those of Northern 
Oahu ; but if so, there must have been a subsidence since, 
as it now forms a cliff on the shore that is gradually wearing 

Molokai, according to information from the Rev. Mr An- 
drews, has coral upon its declivities three hundred feet 
above the sea. The same gentleman informed us, that 
on the western peninsula of Maui, coral occurs in some 
places eight hundred feet above the sea ; and specimens of 
well-defined coral were obtained at a height of five hundred 
feet. These islands were not visited by the writer. 

With regard to Molokai, Mr Andrews informed the author 
that the coral occurs " upon the acclivity of the eastern or 
highest part of the island, over a surface of more than twenty 
or thirty acres, and extends almost to the sea. We had no 
means of accurately measuring the height; but the speci- 
mens were obtained at least three hundred feet above the 
level of the sea, and probably four hundred. The specimens 
have distinctly the structure of coral. The distance from the 
sea was two to three miles." 

Mr Andrews, who appears to doubt the connection of the 
supposed coral on Maui with reefs, writes to the author as 
follows : — " In no case have I seen the coral in a rocky ledge ; 
it is generally mixed with the lava rock, to which it adheres. 
It has usually the appearance of burnt lime ; and thus, large 
stones and rocks seem as though they had been whitewashed 
several times over, and sometimes it amounts to an inch in 
thickness, or an inch and a half. At other times the white- 
wash has found its way into cracks in the stones. Some- 
times only one side of a stone is whitened by it, or only a 
corner of it. It is sometimes soft and crumbly, and at other 
times quite hard ; and again it is mixed with the earth." 
From this description it appears to resemble the line in crust- 
ations and seams of Diamond Hill, Punchbowl, and Koko 
Head, Oahu, which occur at the same height, but most cer- 
tainly give no evidence of elevation, as they have proceeded 
beyond doubt from aqueous eruptions carrying lime in solu- 
tion. Fragments of coral, it will be remembered, occur in 

Changes of Level in the Pacific Ocean. 259 

the tufa of these hills. This evidence from Maui, should 
therefore be received with great hesitation until farther ex- 

Besides the above, there are large masses of coral rock, 
according to Mr Andrews, along the shores of Maui, from 
two to twelve feet above high water. From his descriptions, 
this rock appears to be the reef-rock, like the raised reef of 
Oahu, and is probably proof of an elevation of at least twelve 

I. Kingsmill or Tar aw an Group. 

Taputeouea or Drummond. — This is the southern island 
of the group. The reef-rock, near the village of Utiroa, is 
a foot above low-tide level, and consists of large massive 
Astreas and Meandrinas. The tide in the Kingsmill seas is 
seven feet ; and consequently this evidence of a rise might 
be doubted, as some corals may grow to this height where 
the tide is so high. But these Astreas and Meandrinas, as 
far as observed by the writer, are not among the species that 
may undergo exposure at low tide, except it be to the amount 
of three or four inches ; and it is probable that an elevation 
of at least ten or twelve inches has taken place. 

Apia or Charlotte's Island, one of the northernmost of the 
group, has the reef-rock in some parts raised bodily to a 
height of six or seven feet above low-water level, evidencing 
this amount of elevation. This elevated reef was observed 
for long distances between the several wooded islets ; it re- 
sembled the south reef of Nairsa in the Paumotu Archi- 
pelago, in its bare, even top, and bluff worn front. An islet 
of the atoll, where we landed, was twelve feet high, and the 
coral-reef rock was five or six feet above middle tide. A 
wall of this rock, having the same height, extends along the 
reef from the islet. There was no doubt that it was due to 
an actual uplifting of the reef to a height of full six feet. 

Nanouki, Kuria, Maiana, and Tarawa, lying between 
the two islands above mentioned, were seen only from the 
ship, and nothing decisive bearing on the subject of eleva- 
tion was observed. On the north-east side of Nanouki there 
was a hill twenty or thirty feet in height covered with trees ; 
but we had no means of learning that it was not artificial. 


2bO .Tames D. Dana, Esq., on 

We were, however, informed by Kirby, a sailor taken from 
Kuria, that the reef of Apamama was elevated precisely like 
that of Apia, to a height of five feet ; and this was con- 
firmed by Lieutenant Dehaven, who was engaged in the sur- 
vey of the reef. We were told, also, that Kuria and Na- 
nouki were similar in having the reef elevated, though to a 
less extent. It would hence appear that the elevations in 
the group increase to the northward. 

Maraki, to the north of Apia, is wooded throughout. We 
sailed around it without landing, and can only say that it has 
probably been uplifted like the islands south. Makin, the 
northernmost island, presented in the distant view no cer- 
tain evidence of elevation. 

The elevation of the Kingsmills accounts for the long con- 
tinuity of the wooded lines of land, an unusual fact consider- 
ing the size of the islands. The amount of fresh water ob- 
tained from springs is also uncommon (xii., 48). The wear 
from storms would also be greater on islands which have 
been elevated. 

m. Radack, Ralick, and Caroline Islands. — No evidences 
of elevation in these groups are yet known. The very small 
amount of wooded land on the Pescadores inclines us to sus- 
pect rather a subsidence than an elevation ; and the same 
fact might be gathered with regard to some of the islands 
south, from the charts of Kotzebue and Kruesenstern. 

n. Ladrones. — The seventeen islands which constitute this 
group, may all have undergone elevations within a recent 
period, but owing to the absence of coral from the northern, 
we have evidence only with regard to the more southern. 

Guam, according to Quoy and Gaymard, has coral rock 
upon its hills more than six hundred feet (one hundred toises) 
above the sea. 

Rota, the next island north, afforded these authors similar 
facts, indicating the same amount of elevation. 

o. Pelews and neighbouring Islands. — The island Feis, 
three hundred miles south-west of Guam, is stated by Dar- 
win, on the authority of Lutke, to be of coral, and ninety feet 
high. Mackenzie Island, seventy-five miles south of Feis, is 
a low atoll, as ascertained by the Expedition. No evidences 
of elevation arc known to occur at the Pelews. 

Changes of Level in the Pacific Ocean. 


Melanesian Islands. — Among the New Hebrides, New 
Caledonia, Salomon Islands, the evidences of elevation have 
not yet been examined. 

The details given on the preceding pages may be pre- 
sented in the following tabular form : — 

Paumotu Archipelago, . 

Tahitian Group, 

Hervey and Rurutu Groups, 

North of the Tahitian, 

Tongan Group, 

Savage Island, 
Samoan Islands, 
North of Samoa, 

Feejee Islands, 

North of Feejees, 
Sandwich Islands, 

Tarawan Islands, 


Honden, l£ or 2 

Clermont Tonnere, 


Nairsa or Deans's, 


Elizabeth, . 


Metia or Aurora, 



1 or 2 








. S 

omewhat elevated 







Remaining Islands, 


Washington Island, 

2 or 3 






6 or 8? 





Namuka and the Hapa 







3 to 6 

Fakaafo or Bowditch, . 


Oatafu or Duke of York's, . 

2 or 3 



Gardner, Hull, Sidney, 



it, 0? 

Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, Ovalua, 5 or 6 
Eastern Islands, ... ? 

Home, Wallis, Ellice, Depeyster, ? 

Kauai, . . . . 1 or 2 



Apia or Charlotte, 



25 or 30 



1 or 2 

Nanouki, Kuria, Maiana, and Tarawa, 2 or more 

6 or 7 
2 or 3 

2(>2 Changes of Level in the Pacific Ocean. 


Carolines, ......... None ascertained. 

Ladrones, .... Guam, ..... 600 

Rota, 600 

Feis, 90 

Pelews, 0? 

New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Salomon Islands, . None ascertained. 

Several deductions are at once obvious : — 

1. That the elevations have taken place in all parts of the 

2. That they have in some instances affected single islands, 
and not those adjoining. 

3. That the amount is often very unequal in adjacent 

4. That in a few instances the change has been experienced 
by a whole group or chain of islands. The Tarawan Group 
is an instance, and the rise appears to increase from the 
southernmost island to Apia, and then to diminish again to 
the other extremity. 

The Feejees may be an example of a rise at the west side 
of a group, and possibly a subsidence on the east ; while a 
little farther east, the Tonga Islands constitute another ex- 
tended area of elevation. We observe that while the Sa- 
moan Islands afford no evidences of elevation, the Tonga 
Islands on the south have been raised, and also the Fakaafo 
Group, and others on the north. 

We cannot, therefore, distinguish any evidence that a 
general rise is or has been in progress ; yet some large areas 
appear to have been simultaneously affected, although the 
action has often been isolated. Metia and Elizabeth Island 
may have risen abruptly ; but the changes of level in the 
Feejees and the Friendly Islands appear to have taken place 
by a gradual action. 


On some New Points in British Geology. By Professor 
Edward Forbes, President of the Geological Society. 
Communicated by the Author. 

Not many years ago it used to be said that the geology of 
England was done, and yet the best investigated localities are 
constantly affording fresh discoveries. When the lecturer 
last year exhibited Captain Ibbetson's beautiful and accurate 
model of Whitecliff Bay in the Isle of Wight, in illustration 
of his views respecting the distribution of species in time, he 
had not the slightest suspicion that this particular locality, so 
often and apparently so thoroughly explored, could yield new 
results and new interpretations. Nevertheless, having had 
occasion, at the suggestion of Sir Henry De la Beche, to ex- 
amine the tertiary strata of the Isle of Wight for the purposes 
of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, this very bay of 
Whitecliff proved to be a rich source of novel geological infor- 
mation. Moreover, a great portion of the Isle of Wight, on 
further examination, turned out to belong to a division of the 
older tertiaries that had never been demonstrated to exist 
within the British Islands. As a general statement of these 
results and of their bearings may be more intelligible to non- 
professional lovers of geology than the detailed memoirs about 
to be published on the subject, Professor Forbes has taken 
this opportunity of communicating them to the Members of 
the Royal Institution. 

The Isle of Wight is divided into two portions by a great 
chalk ridge running east and west. This is the ridge of ver- 
tical chalk beds. To the north of it, the country is composed 
of tertiary, to the south, of older strata, as far down in the 
geological scale as the Wealden. The lower Greensand or 
Neocomian beds occupy the greater part of the surface of the 
southern division, and fresh-water tertiaries that of the north- 
ern. At Alum Bay on the west, and Whitecliff Bay on the 
east, the ends of the older tertiary strata, as they rise above 
the chalk, are seen truncated and upturned, being all affected 
by the movement which caused the verticality of the chalk. 
These tertiaries constitute the following groups, successively 

204 Professor E. Forbes on 

enumerated in ascending order, the Plastic clay, the Bognor 
series (equivalents of the true London clay), the Bracklesham 
series, and the Barton series, upon which lie the Headon Hill 
sands, and those fresh-water strata that, spreading out, form 
the gently undulating country, extending from near the base 
of the chalk ridge to the sea. 

Owing to the section at Headon Hill, near Alum Bay, being 
so clear and conspicuous, and their position being in the loftiest 
tertiary hill that exhibits its internal structure in the island, 
the fresh-water and fluvio-marinebeds which compose that ele- 
vation have long attracted attention, and have been described 
by many observers, the first of whom was the late Professor 
Webster. The apparent slight inclination of these beds, as 
seen in the Headon section, except at the point where they are 
suddenly curved in conformity with the verticality of the chalk 
and the beds immediately above it, appear to have led geolo- 
gists to the notion that the fluvio-marine portion of the Isle 
of Wight was composed entirely of continuations of the beds 
forming Headon Hill. Two observers only suspected a dis- 
crepancy, viz., Mr Prestwich, who in a short communication 
to the British Association at Southampton, expressed his be- 
lief that Hempstead Hill, near Yarmouth, would prove to be 
composed of strata higher than those of Headon ; and the 
Marchioness of Hastings, who, having given much time to the 
search for the remains of fossil vertebratain the tertiaries of the 
Isle of Wight and Hordwell, declared her conviction thatthese 
remainsbelonged to distinct species, accordingas they were col- 
lected at Hordwell, Hempstead, and Hyde, and that these three 
localities could not, as was usually understood, belong to the 
same set of strata. The recently published monograph of the 
pulmoniferous molluscs of the English eocene tertiaries, by 
Mr Frederic Edwards, afforded also indications of the shells 
therein so well described and figured having been collected in 
strata of more than one age. 

A few days' labour at the west end of the island convinced 
Professor Forbes that the surmises alluded to were likely to 
prove true, and that the structure of the north end of the 
island had been in the main misunderstood. After four months' 
constant work at both extremities, and along the intermediate 

some New Points in British Geology. 265 

country, he succeeded in making out the true succession of 
beds, with most novel and gratifying results. During this 
work he was greatly aided by his colleague, Mr Bristow, and 
by Mr Gibbs, an indefatigable and able collector attached to 
the Geological Survey. 

The fresh-water strata of Whitecliff Bay proved to be en- 
tirely misinterpreted. Instead of being constituted out of the 
Headon Hill strata only, more than a hundred feet thickness 
of them are additional beds characterized by peculiar fossils, 
and resting upon a marine stratum that overlies the Bern- 
bridge limestone, the equivalent of which at Headon is a soft 
concretionary calcareous marl, scarcely visible except in holes 
among the grass immediately under the gravel on the sum- 
mit of the hill. 

The beds of the true Headon series, in fact, are all included 
in the sub- vertical portion of the Whitecliff sections, and are 
there present in their full thickness. They are succeeded by 
peculiar strata of intermediate character, for which the name 
of St Helen's beds is proposed, and which become so im- 
portant near Hyde that they constitute a valuable building 
stone. The Bembridge limestone that lies above is the same 
with the Binstead limestone near Ryde, out of which were pro- 
cured the remains of quadrupeds of the genera Anoplothe- 
rium, Palseotherium, &c, identical with those found in the 
gypsiferous beds of Montmartre. The Sconce limestone near 
Yarmouth is also the same, and none of these limestones are 
identical with any of those conspicuous among the fluvio- 
marine strata at Headon Hill, and with which they have 
hitherto been confounded. They are far above them, and are 
distinguished by distinct and peculiar fossils. 

Almost all the country north of the chalk ridge, exclusive 
of the small strip occupied by the marine eocenes, is composed 
of marls higher in the series than any of the Headon Hill 
beds, and hitherto wholly undistinguished, except in the 
Whitecliff section, where the age and relative position had 
been entirely mistaken. These are the Bembridge marls of 
Professor Forbes. Above them are still higher beds pre- 
served only in two localities, viz., at Hempstead Hill, to the 
west of Yarmouth, and in the high ground at Parkhurst. 
For these the name of Hempstead series is proposed. Their 

266 Professor E. Forbes on 

characteristic fossils are very distinct, and the highest bed of 
the series is marine. These beds prove to be identical with 
the Limburg or Tongrien beds of Belgium and with the Gres 
de Fontainebleau series in France. We thus get a definite 
horizon for comparison with the Continent, and are enabled 
to shew, that instead of our English series of eocene ter- 
tiaries being incomplete in its upper stages, as compared with 
those of France and Belgium, it is really the most complete 
section in Europe, probably in the world. We are enabled 
by it to correct the nomenclature used on the Continent, and 
to prove that the so-called lower Miocene formations of 
France and Germany are in true sequence with the Eocene 
strata, and are linked with them both stratagraphically and 
by their organic contents. We are also enabled to refer, with 
great probability, the so-called Miocene tertiaries of the Medi- 
terranean basin, of Spain and Portugal, — those of the well- 
known Maltese type — to their true position in the series, and 
to place them on a horizon with the Tongrien division of the 
Eocenes. As these Maltese beds are unconformable, and evi- 
dently long subsequent to the deposition of the great nummu- 
litic formation, we are enabled to assign an approximate limit 
to the estimate of the latest age of that important series. From 
well-marked analogies we get at a probable date even for the 
Australian Tertiaries. Thus the deciphering of the true struc- 
ture of a small portion of the British Islands can throw r fresh 
light upon the conformation of vast and far apart regions. 

The peculiar undulatory contour of the surface of the fluvio- 
marine portion of the Isle of Wight is due to the gentle rol- 
ling of these beds in two directions, one parallel with the 
strata of the chalk ridge, and the other at right angles to it. 
The valleys and hills running northwards to the sea depend 
upon the synclinal and anteclinal curves of the latter system of 
rolls, a fact hitherto unnoticed, and the non-recognition of 
which has probably been one cause of the erroneous interpre- 
tation of the structure of the Isle of Wight hitherto received. 
The truncations of these curves along the coast of the Solent 
exhibit at intervals beautiful and much neglected sections, 
well worthy of careful study. There is one of these sections 
near Osborne. Her Majesty's residence stands upon a geo- 
logical formation hitherto unrecognized in Britain. Near 

some New Points in British Geology. 267 

West Cowes there are several fine sections along the shore. 
The total thickness of unclassified strata in the Isle of Wight 
is four hundred feet, if not more, and within this range are 
at least two distinct sets of organic remains. The fluvio- 
marine beds in all, including the Headon series, are very 
nearly six-hundred feet thick. 

On the question whether Temperature determines the distri- 
bution of Marine Species of Animals in depth. By James 
D. Dana, Esq. 

It is a question of much interest, how far temperature in- 
fluences the range of zoological species in depth. From a 
survey of the facts relating to coral zoophytes, the author ar- 
rived at the conclusion that this cause is of but secondary 
importance.* After determining the limiting temperature 
bounding the coral-reef seas, and ascertaining the distribution 
of reefs, it was easy to compare this temperature with that 
of the greatest depths at which the proper reef corals occur. 
This depth is about 100 feet, now the limiting temperature, 
68°, is reached under the equator at a depth of 500 feet, and 
under the parallel of 10° at a depth of at least 300 feet. 
There must therefore be some other cause besides tempera- 
ture ; and this may be amount of pressure, of light, or atmo- 
spheric air dissolved in the waters. 

Professor Forbes has remarked that the deep sea species 
in the iEgeanh ave a boreal character ;t and Lieut. Spratt has 
ascertained the temperature at different depths, J and shewn 
that the deep-sea species are those which have the widest 
range of distribution, most of them occurring north about the 
British shores, or north of France. Yet is it true, that the 
species which occur in deep water in the iEgean are found in 
shallow waters of like temperature about the more northern 
coasts ? If so, Lieut. Spratt' s conclusion, that temperature 
is the principal influence which governs the distribution 

* Exped. Report on Zoophytes, 1846, p. 103 ; and on Geology, p. 97 ; this 
tour, xii, 180. 

t Report on the iEgean Invertehrata, Rep. Brit. Assoc. 1843, p. 130. 
X Rep. Brit. Assoc. 1848, p. 81. 


James D. Dana. Esq., on the 

of marine fauna in depth as well as in latitudinal distribution, 
will stand as true. But we believe that facts do not bear out 
this conclusion ; deep-sea species live in deep seas in both 
regions, with but little difference in the depth to which they 
extend. They are boreal in character, when of Mediterranean 
origin, because they are cold-water species ; and their wide 
distribution is because of the wide range of temperature for 
which they are fitted, rather than their fitness to endure a 
given temperature which they find at considerable depths to 
the south, and near the surface to the north. 

As this point is one of much importance, we have run over 
the recent tables of dredging by Professor E. Forbes, in the 
iEgean and about the British Islands,* to see how far it is 
borne out ; and we add other results by R. Macandrew, 
Esq., at Vigo Bay, Portugal, Gibraltar, Malta, Pantellaria, 
Algiers, and Tunis. \ 

North of 

South of 

Malta and 


and Isle 

Vigo Bay. 



and Tunis. 

Corbula nucleus . . 


of Man. 








Neoera cuspidata 






Thracia phaseolina . 




Solen pellucidus . 





Psammobia ferroensis 






Tellina donacina . . 





Mactra subtruncata . 





Lutraria elliptica 



Low water 

Cytherea cbione . . 





Venus ovata . . . 








Venus faseiata . . 








Venus verrucosa . . 







Artemis lincta . . 



Low water 




Cardium echinatum 





Lucina nYxuosa . . 





Lucina spinifera . . 








Kellia suborbicularis 






Modiola tulipa . . 







Modiola barbata . . 





Area tetragona . . 








Area lactea . . . 












Nueula nitida . . 







Nucula nucleus . . 








Lima subauriculata . 






Pecten similis . . 






Pecten maximus . 







Pecten opercularis . 







Pecten varius . . . 








Anomia epbippium . 







* Rep. Brit. Assoc. 1843 ; and On British Marine Zoology, Ibid., 1850, p 192. 
t Ibid., p. 264. } Not found living at the depth stated. 

Distribution of Marine Species. 269 

The great care and thoroughness of Professor Forbes's re- 
searches, and those also of Macandrew, give peculiar weight to 
the conclusions. Those species are taken from the tables 
which are common to these several regions, and with regard 
to which the observations are free from doubt ; and we have 
confined the list to the Acephalous Molluscs, as these appear 
to be sufficient to test the law under discussion. The depth 
is given in fathoms. 

It should be observed that, to carry out the theory, the 
species should be confined to shallower waters to the north 
than to the south. 

To compare fairly this table, it should be noted that the 
dredging at the Shetlands, Orkneys, and north of Scotland, 
was carried to a greater depth than about southern England, 
fifty fathoms being the limit in the latter region, as the 
waters are shallow. Making this allowance, we are still 
struck with the great depth to which the species penetrate at 
the most northern locality, instead of the small depth. Out 
of the twenty-one species which are here mentioned as oc- 
curring in northern Scotland or the Shetlands, and the 
iEgean, fourteen or fifteen descend to a greater depth in the 
former than in the latter ; and nearly all the species common 
to the north and south extremities of the British Islands, are 
reported from the deepest waters at the north. Of the ob- 
servations made at Vigo Bay, Malta, Pantellaria, Tunis, 
Algiers, and Gibraltar, there is but a single example among 
the above species of a greater range in depth than occurs in 
the northernmost locality examined. The dredging in the 
Mediterranean by Macandrew was not carried to as great 
depths ; yet even allowing for this, the facts are not a little 

Now, the temperature in the iEgean during the warmer 
months, according to Lieut. Spratt, is as follows. 
At the surface, 76° to 84°. 
10 fathoms, seldom below 74° in the summer. 
20 ... ... 68 

35 ... ... 62 

75 ... .., 56 

100 to 300 ... 55 to 55 J ... 

270 On the Distribution of Marine Species. 

The temperature of the waters near southern England in 
summer is 62°, and near the Shetlands 55°, or less. Conse- 
quently the surface summer temperature of the British Chan- 
nel is not found in the iEgean at a less depth than thirty- 
five fathoms, and the surface summer temperature of the 
Shetlands is the temperature at one to three hundred fathoms 
in the iEgean ; and still species that range to a depth of one 
hundred fathoms about northern Scotland, are found within 
thirty fathoms of the surface in the iEgean ; that is, where the 
summer temperature is 74° or more. Such facts shew the har- 
diness of the species in enduring great ranges in temperature. 
We must therefore conclude that it is not temperature alone, 
or mainly, which determines the depth to which species may 
live. It exerts an influence, and species fitted for cold waters 
may be found in the deeper seas where such waters occur. 
But the limit of descent depends on other influences. 

Looking at this table in another way, we see, as recognized 
by Professor Forbes, that species which occur at or near the 
surface in northern Scotland, are generally met with only at 
greater depths in the Mediterranean ; that is, the minimum 
depth is less in the former case than in the latter. Thus Cor- 
bula nucleus has for its minimum depth in the Mediterranean 
six fathoms, and in the northern regions three fathoms. 
Psammobia ferroensis has ten fathoms for the former, and 
three for the latter. Other examples will be found in the 
above table, sufficient to illustrate the principle, although 
many exceptions exist. Thus species that have a range of 
one hundred fathoms beyond Scotland may have the same in 
the Mediterranean, except that in many cases they do not reach 
as near the surface, where the waters are warm. 

The Crustacea of the same seas illustrate this subject in a 
similar way ; but the observations upon them have been 
made with less thoroughness, and we have therefore confined 
our discussions to Molluscs. — {American Journal of Science 
and Arts, vol. xv., 2d series, No. 44, p. 204.) 


On the identity of a Colouring Matter present in several 
Animals with the Chlorophyle of Plants. By M. Max. 
Schultze of Greifswald. 

The author enumerates several animals of a green colour 
which are common in ditches and marshes — such as Hydra 
viridis, several green Turoellarim, Vortex viridis, Mesosto- 
mum viridatum, and Derostomum cazcum ; and also several 
green infusoria, such as Stentor polymorphus, Ophrydium 
versatile, Bursaria vernalis, &c. The colour in these animals 
is afforded by minute green globules, about 0-016 inch in dia- 
meter, which are situated under the integument in the par- 
enchyma of the animals. They are perfectly spherical, and 
exhibit within the green substance an extremely minute, 
colourless, and homogeneous nucleus ; or they may consist of 
several minute green globules, grouped together in a mul- 
berry form ; in this latter case they arise from the division 
of a homogeneous vesicle. 

This green colouring substance is not altered by dilute acids 
or alkaline solutions ; by which it is distinguished from the 
green colouring matter of several Algse, which, according to 
Nageli, is changed into a yellow, orange, or red by the same 
re-agents. Concentrated sulphuric and muriatic acids dissolve 
the colouring matter ; the solution is of a beautiful green or 
bluish-green colour, unchanged by the action of heat ; it is also 
dissolved by a concentrated solution of potass, by ammonia, 
alcohol, and ether, the colour precisely resembling that of a 
solution of chlorophyle. 

Its development, also, is influenced in the same way as 
that of a vegetable chlorophyle by light ; but animals con- 
taining it do not evolve oxygen, and the author thence con- 
cludes that the evolution of that gas is not solely dependent 
upon the chlorophyle in plants. 

In Vortex viridis, the minute green globules, owing to 
their mutual compression, assume an hexagonal form — the 
green compartments thus formed are separated by an inter- 
stitial colourless substance. The existence of a colourless 
membrane around each green vesicle may thence be deduced. 

272 M. Dumont on the Classification of Rocks. 

This fact is further demonstrated in vesicles, the green 
matter of which only partially fills the globular cavity. 

With respect to the chemical composition of the mem- 
brane and of the nucleus of the vesicles in Vortex viridis, 
the results of the author s researches are limited to the fol- 
lowing facts : — The solutions of potass and of ammonia, and 
sulphuric acid, after the extraction of the colouring matter, 
cause the membrane to swell out, in which the nucleus can 
no longer be recognized. The membrane becomes pale and 
finally disappears entirely, but especially so long after boil- 
ing. Acetic and chromic acids and alcohol do not affect the 
membrane and the nucleus. By solution of iodine the vesicle 
is coloured brown, the nucleus becomes more distinct, but 
its colour is unaltered. It cannot, consequently, be assi- 
milated to the nucleus of the vegetable chlorophyle vesicle, 
which mostly consists of amylum. — {The Quarterly Journal 
of Microscopical Science, No. iv., July, p. 278.) 

On the Classification of Rocks. By M. Dumont. 

In this communication M. Dumont proposes a distribution 
of rocks and mineral deposits generally into three classes, 
according to the mode of their formation, and the use of the 
word Geyserian as a designation for the third of these classes. 

The chemical, as well as the physical, study of the crust 
of the earth, is now beginning to engage a portion of that 
attention which for some years has been almost exclusively 
devoted to palaeontology ; nor can it be doubted that inquiries 
which may hereafter enable the geologist to explain both the 
physical and chemical condition of the earth's crust, are ne- 
cessary to a right understanding of the past history of its 
successive changes. M. Dumont appears to feel this, when 
he suggests the threefold division of the rocks and strata 
of the earth above mentioned, and the adoption of a new 
designation for one of them. He observes that the terms 
Neptunian and Plutonian cannot embrace all the forms of 
mineral deposits. The term Neptunian naturally comprises 

M. Dumont on the Classification of Rocks. 27 o 

all stratified deposits which have been formed under the 
action of external causes, and have therefore been called by 
Humboldt exogenes. They have been produced generally 
under the influence of water, exhibiting phenomena of a me- 
chanical, chemical, or physical nature, and often containing 
the relics of organic bodies. Such strata, which are quart- 
zose, slaty, clayey, calcareous, dolomitic, or carbonaceous, 
and are either laminated, compact, sandy, conglomeratic, or 
organic, sometimes appear nearly in the condition of their 
original deposit, and sometimes in a state of great alteration 
consequent upon the action of internal causes subsequent 
to their deposition, a change in consequence of which they 
have been designated Metamorphic. The term Plutonian 
comprises those rocks which have been produced by igneous 
action from internal causes, and have been therefore called 
by Humboldt endogenes. Such rocks are crystalline, and 
sometimes cellular, are feldspathic, and appear either in 
masses or have been erupted, like lavas, in streams. 

By the term " Geyserian" M. Dumont proposes to desig- 
nate those rocks which, though, like the Plutonian, they have 
been produced by causes acting from within, have not, like 
them, been fused by heat, but have been formed by either 
aqueous or gaseous emanations. The Plutonian, in fact, 
have been formed like lavas, the Geyserian like sublimed 
sulphur. Geyserian rocks are metalliferous, rarely feld- 
spathic, are confusedly crystalline, concretionary, or cellular, 
and exhibit a very different aspect to that of the Plutonian. 
On the other hand, though sometimes conglomeratic or com- 
posed of transported materials, and formed under the in- 
fluence of water, they are distinguished from the Neptunian 
by their want of stratification, by the metallic and mineral 
substances they contain, by the absence of organic remains, 
by a crystalline or concretionary structure, and especially by 
their mode of formation. 

Such are the views of M. Dumont ; and although, as he 
states, it may be sometimes difficult to draw the line of limi- 
tation between rocks of these various modes of formation, 
and the Geyserian may appear involved in, and subsidiary, 
sometimes to the Plutonian, sometimes to the Neptunian, it 

VOL. LV. NO. CX. — OCTOBER 1853. S 

274 Causes of Phosphorescence. 

is certainly desirable that the geologist should feel and admit 
that igneous fusion alone, as supposed to be recognized in 
Plutonic rocks, or the ordinary action, whether mechanical 
or chemical, of water, as recognized in Neptunian rocks, 
cannot explain all the phenomena of rock formations and of 
mineral veins ; whilst the term " Geyseriari' sufficiently ex- 
plains the nature of the other actions, M. Dumont considers 
to have shared in the production of the general effects ob- 
served. — [Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, vol. 
ix., No. 35, p. 25.) 

Causes of Phosphorescence. 

It is well known that the waters of the sea, in some lati- 
tudes and under certain circumstances, are phosphorescent, 
producing a light more or less brilliant. This remarkable 
phenomenon has alwa)S attracted the attention of travellers, 
and various have been the explanations they have offered. 

Ehrenberg sums up, in the following manner, the import- 
ant results of his labours : — 

1. The phosphorescence of the sea appears to be owing 
solely to organized beings. 

2. A very great number of organic and inorganic bodies 
shine in the water and out of the water in different ways. 

3. There is also a light from organized bodies, which is 
probably owing to vital action. 

4. The active organic light shews itself frequently under 
the form of a simple flash, repeated from time to time, spon- 
taneous or provoked. Often also it appears under the form 
of repeated sparks, following each other in quick successions, 
under the influence of the will, and very similar to electric 
sparks. Often, but not always, there is formed by this pro- 
duction of sparks, a mucilaginous humour, gelatinous or 
aqueous, which is diffused around in great abundance, and is 
evidently placed in a secondary or passive state of phos- 
phorescence, which continues a long time without requiring 
any new influence from the organic being, and even lasts after 
that has been divided or destroyed. 

Causes of Phosphorescence. 275 

A light which, to the naked eye, appears uniform and tran- 
quil, shews itself scintillating under the microscope. 

5. The viscous humour which envelopes and penetrates the 
ovaries, seems to be especially susceptible of acquiring this 
communicated light, which is constantly reinforced by fric- 
tion, and reappears even when it seems to have ceased. 

May not the light emitted by living fishes, by Actinias, and 
by many other animals covered with mucosity, be sometimes 
merely communicated. 

6. The relations which exist between the production of 
light and the sexual functions are evident in the Coleoptera, 
although the connection of the small luminous sacs with the 
reproductive organs may remain concealed. With many 
marine hermaphrodite animals, phosphorescence appears to 
be a means of defence and protection analogous to those of 
another kind which exist in the Brachinus crepitans, the 
cuttle fish, the frog, or to the discharges of the torpedo. What- 
ever it may be, the air and the sea have their phosphores- 

7. As yet it is only among the Annelids, and of them only 
in the Photocharis, that a peculiar phosphorescent organ has 
been discovered ; it is external, tufted, frequently giving out 
light, similar to a thick cirrus, shewing a largely cellular 
structure, and formed within of a mucilaginous substance. 
The expanded base of the marginal cirri in the Thaumantias 
(Acalephs) may be regarded as phosphorescent organs of an 
unusual kind. The ovaries are more probably luminous, pas- 
sively, and in a secondary manner, although their minuteness 
and transparency have prevented our ascertaining whether 
the organs of phosphorescence are placed near them, as for 
instance in the Polynoe and Pyrosomas. 

8. The production of light is evidently a vital act, very 
similar to the development of electricity ; an act which, being 
completely individual, becomes more feeble, and ceases on 
too frequent repetition, which reappears after a short in- 
terval of repose, to the production of which, absolute in- 
tegrity of the organism is not necessary, but which some- 
times manifests direct connections only with the nervous 

8 2 

276 liemarks on Volcanoes. 

The memoir of Meyen is less extended, but it contains 
some important facts.* The author admits three kinds of 
phosphorescence ; 1. The phenomenon is owing to a mucosity 
diffused in water. In that case, the water seen in the day 
has a uniform tint of bluish-white. It is often observed in 
tropical parts, but rarely out on the open sea. This mode 
of phosphorescence may be produced artificially by washing 
or by crushing certain molluscs and. acalephs either in sea- 
water or in fresh ; 2. Phosphorescence results from the 
presence of certain living animals, endowed with a luminous 
mucus. This continues even after the death of the animal ; 
it arises from a superficial oxydation of the mucous coating, 
and it can be reproduced after it seems extinct by passing 
the finger over the animal. The animals which owe their 
luminous property to a secretion are, according to the author, 
Infusoria, Rotifera, Biphorse, Medusae, Asteria, Cuttle fish, 
Sertularise, Pennatuloe, Planarite, Crustacea, and Annelids : 
3. The third cause of phosphorescence is in some animals 
from the presence of one or more special organs. Of this 
number are the Pyrosoma, and especially P. Atlantica, 
whose light of a greenish blue is very brilliant. Each indi- 
vidual carries behind its mouth a soft opaque substance of a 
reddish brown colour. This body is slightly conical, and 
under the microscope thirty or forty red points my be seen ; 
it is this substance which produces the light. — {American 
Journal of Science and Arts, vol. xv., No. 44, 2d Series, 
p. 202. 

Dr Daubeny and Professor Bunsen of Heidelberg on 

Those who have taken the trouble of perusing my work 
on Volcanoes, and especially the second edition of it, pub- 
lished in 1848, will recollect, that in bringing forward that 
theory which may be regarded as a revival, or perhaps a de- 
velopment, of the original hypothesis of Sir Humphry Davy, 

* Beitraege zur Zoologie, von J. F. Meyen, fiinfte Abhandlung. Ueber das 
Leuehten des Meeres. (Nov. Act. Nat. Ai\, t. xvi., Suppl., 1834.) 

Remarks on Volcanoes. 277 

my professed object principally was that of enlisting the ser- 
vices of chemists in an attempt to elucidate a series of phe- 
nomena, which, although essentially chemical, had been 
hitherto, in a great degree, abandoned to geologists. 

Indeed, since the time when Gay-Lussac published his 
11 Remarks on Vesuvius," and that at which Sir Humphry 
Davy paid a cursory visit to the same spot, no chemist of 
European reputation appears to have made volcanoes a sub- 
ject of study, excepting Abich, to whom we owe the first 
lucid sketch of the chemical relations which volcanic and 
plutonic rocks bear to each other ; and Professor Bischoff of 
Bonn, whose researches were, however, confined to extinct 
volcanoes, such as those of the Rhine and Eyfel. 

Hence it is not to be wondered at, that the subject should 
be treated as though it were exclusively a mechanical pro- 
blem, and theorized upon without any due appreciation of 
the interesting chemical phenomena which it presents to our 

It was this consideration more especially which led me, in 
my work on Volcanoes, to give a prominence to those points 
which appeared to have been unduly neglected by others ; 
and to advocate with more zeal than I might otherwise per- 
haps have felt inclined to do, a theory which necessarily 
brought before us the nature of the gaseous, saline, and 
crystalline products which proceed from the internal focus of 
its action. 

That this was my object, will appear from some remarks 
which I made fifteen years ago, in my "Report on Mineral 
and Thermal Waters," undertaken at the request of the Bri- 
tish Association for the Advancement of Science, and pub- 
lished in their Transactions : 

"We ought,'' I observed, " carefully to distinguish between 
that which appears to be a direct inference from observed 
fact, and what can at most advance no higher claim than that 
of being a plausible conjecture. The general occurrence of 
volcanoes in the neighbourhood of the sea, and the constant 
disengagement of aqueous vapour, and of sea -salt from their 
interior, are facts that establish in my mind a conviction that 
water finds its way to the seat of the aqueous operations, 
almost as complete, as if I were myself an eye-witness of an- 

278 Remarks on Volcanoes. 

other Phlegethon, discharging itself into the bowels of the 
earth, in every volcanic district, as in the solitary case of 

4< Nor is the access of atmospheric air more questionable 
than that of water; so that the appearance of hydrogen united 
with sulphur, and of nitrogen either alone or combined with 
hydrogen at the mouth of the volcano, seems a direct proof 
that oxygen has been abstracted by some process or other 
from both. 

" Having satisfied our minds with regard to the fact of in- 
ternal oxidation, we naturally turn to consider what prin- 
ciples can have existed in the interior of the earth capable of 
abstracting oxygen from water, as well as from air ; and this 
leads us to speculate on the basis of the earths and alkalies, 
as having been instrumental in causing it. But in ascribing 
the phenomena to the oxidation of these bodies, we ought 
not to lose sight of the Baconian maxim, that in every well- 
established theory, the cause assigned should be not only 
competent to explain the facts, but also known to have a real 
existence^ which latter circumstance cannot, of course, be 
affirmed of the alkaline and earthy metalloids, as having a 
place in the interior of the earth." 

I should not despair of being able to shew that such an 
hypothesis is still tenable ; but it will be more profitable on 
the present occasion, as well as, I doubt not, more agreeable 
to my hearers, for me to point out the substantial additions 
which Professor Bunsen has supplied to our knowledge of this 
class of phenomena. 

He has, in the first place, proved that the products of 
volcanic action — at least as they display themselves in that- 
vast focus of internal energy which we observe in the island 
of Iceland — consist only of two kinds of material : either 
a trachytic rock, consisting of a trisilicate of alumina, con- 
joined with a similar compound of silica, with an alkali 
or alkaline earth ; or else an augite rock, in which one 
atom, only, of silica, is combined with two atoms either of 
alumina, protoxide of iron, lime, magnesia, potass, or soda. 

Bunsen has given a formula by which the proportion be- 
tween these two constituents in any given rock may be readily 

Remarhs on Volcanoes. 279 

computed; and hence concludes, that the products of volcanic 
action in Iceland, are derived from two independent foci. 

But the most interesting part of his researches relates to 
the changes which have been wrought upon these materials 
by causes of subsequent operation. 

Few of the friends I see around me are old enough to have 
witnessed the contests which for many years were waged 
with so much fury between the advocates of the igneous and 
aquous origin of basalt. 

In this controversy much stress, I recollect, was laid by the 
Wernerians on the characters of trap tuff, which, it was con- 
tended, could by no means admit of being referred to the 
action of heat, whilst its passage into trap rocks rendered it 
difficult to ascribe to the one an origin which was denied to 
the other. 

Now, Professor Bunsen has, in the first place, beautifully 
shewn that the species of tuff which prevails in Iceland, and 
which is also abundant in Sicily, as is implied by its name 
Palagonite, derived from the village of Palagonia, at the base 
of Etna, possesses such a chemical composition as identifies 
it with the pyroxenic rock of the neighbourhood. 

He has also succeeded in explaining those differences in 
structure and in appearance, which, in spite of this corre- 
spondence in the nature of its constituents, stamp it as a dis- 
tinct mineral ; having traced such alterations to the operation, 
not indeed of water alone, but of an alkali or an alkaline earth, 
containing just so much water as to exist in the condition of 
a hydrate, formed in either case by the influence of a tem- 
perature equal to that of ignition. 

The Professor states, that he has actually succeeded in 
converting basalt into palagonitic tuff, by mixing it in a state 
of fine powder with thirteen times its weight of slaked lime, 
or of potass. 

Thus, the very alkali, which may have been sublimed from 
some internal focus of igneous action, might, if water were 
also present, have been instrumental in converting an ordi- 
nary pyroxenic rock into palagonite under the influence of 

Another difficulty which beset the Huttonian theory, arose 

280 Remarks on Volcanoes. 

from the existence of zeolites in the midst of rocks of sup- 
posed igneous formation, as the readiness with which these 
minerals part with their water, seemed inconsistent with the 
supposition of their originating at a high temperature. 

This was got over by supposing such minerals to have been 
formed under a pressure sufficient to prevent the water from 
escaping, and hence the Vulcanists were in some cases driven 
to assume pressure where none could be shewn to have ex- 

But Bunsen has relieved them from this embarrassment by 
demonstrating that zeolites may be generated by fusing lime 
and silica with an excess of caustic potass, without any pres- 
sure at all ; and that by this method crystals may be pro- 
duced at a red heat containing water, of which, however, the 
greater part is disengaged at a temperature not exceeding 
228°, when the substance is detached from the crucible in 
which it had been formed. 

Professor Bunsen has also, by a series of decisive experi- 
ments, removed all doubts as to the nature of the aeriform 
bodies which are disengaged from volcanoes, and has fully sub- 
stantiated what my own observations, and those which I had 
collected from various other sources, led me to infer, namely, 
that inflammable gases, made up either wholly or in part of 
hydrogen, are amongst the most constant concomitants of vol- 
canic action in all its various phases. Nitrogen also, often 
unaccompanied with oxygen, seems to be as common in the 
fumaroles of Iceland, as I have found it to be in the thermal 
springs of other volcanic regions. 

And with respect to the origin of these gases, Bunsen most 
satisfactorily refutes the idea of his countryman Bischoff, who 
refers them to the spontaneous decomposition or dry distilla- 
tion of organic matters, shewing that when this process takes 
place, nitrogen is invariably accompanied with marsh gas and 
other hydrocarbons which are never present in volcanoes. 

He accordingly expresses his decided opinion that the ob- 
jections which have been supposed to be fatal to the old vol- 
canic theory of Davy, entirely lose their value after these re- 
sults. " For if," he remarks, " in the spirit of this theory it 
is assumed that the lavas, and the phenomena of ignition ac- 

Remarks on Volcanoes. 281 

coinpanying them, result from an oxidation of alkaline and 
earthy metals, determined by a decomposition of water, it 
admits of being proved, that the quantity of the hydrogen 
evolved from volcanoes, bears a perfect relation to the mag- 
nitude of the streams of lava formed." 

A single one of the vapour springs of Krisuvik yields, ac- 
cording to Bunsen's own calculations, about twelve cubic 
metres of hydrogen in twenty-four hours. 

" Assuming, then, that the remaining innumerable springs, 
together with the large fumaroles occurring there, yield to- 
gether a quantity only 100 times as great, which may safely 
be regarded as far less than the quantity of this gas which is 
actually evolved, we may, by means of this assumption and 
simple calculation, shew that the formation of lava, which 
would be equivalent to such an evolution of gas within the 
period which elapses between two great eruptions, is suffi- 
cient to produce immense streams of lava." 

" Nor is it any longer possible to attach importance to the 
second of the principal objections which have been made to 
Davy's hypothesis, namely, that it is unusual to observe any 
sensible appearance of flames during great volcanic eruptions. 
For if, from the known composition of the first-mentioned 
fumarole gas, we estimate the temperature of its flame, we 
find it to be 305° 6' ; consequently a temperature which is far 
below the. point of ignition of hydrogen. These gases are, 
therefore, combustible only at a red heat, and even under 
the most favourable circumstances can only produce by such 
a combustion an increase of temperature amounting to 305° 6', 
which in a red heat must necessarily altogether escape ob- 
servation by the eye." 

Satisfied with having obtained the weighty testimony of 
Professor Bunsen in favour of the facts which I had alleged 
in confirmation of the theory to which I had given my ad- 
hesion, I shall the less regard the opposition that exists be- 
tween my views and his with respect to the source of the 
hydrogen evolved. 

Professor Bunsen derives this gas from the process in which 
pyroxenic lava is converted into palagonite through the 

282 Remarks on Volcanoes. 

agency of the hydrates of the alkalies or alkaline earths, 
assisted hy a high temperature, during which, as he has 
shewn, hydrogen is evolved ; and he even shews that if sul- 
phur in vapour be brought into contact with basalt at a high 
temperature, and afterwards steam be passed over the rock 
so treated, sulphurous acid is disengaged in the first instance 
by the union of the sulphur with the oxygen of the peroxide 
of iron, which metal forms, with another portion of the same 
body, sulphuret of iron ; and that sulphuretted hydrogen will 
be emitted in the second instance, owing to the decomposi- 
tion of water, and the union of its hydrogen with the sulphur 
of the pyrites, whilst its oxygen forms, with the metallic por- 
tion, magnetic oxide of iron. 

Supposing the formation of palagonite to be going on at 
all times when sulphuretted hydrogen and pure hydrogen can 
be shewn to be concomitants of the volcanic action, and on a 
scale commensurate to the amount of gas generated, the ex- 
planation of Professor Bunsen will probably be accepted by 
chemists in general, in preference to that which refers it to 
the decomposition of water by alkaline and earthy metalloids, 
or their yet unoxidized sulphurets ; but I cannot admit, as a 
valid objection to this latter hypothesis, the absence of car- 
bonic oxide from volcanic exhalations, of which carbonic acid 
constitutes so large a proportion. No doubt the latter would, 
as Bunsen remarks, be partially converted into carbonic 
oxide by hydrogen at the high temperature which probably 
exists around the focus of the volcanic action; but I have 
always been accustomed to refer the carbonic acid given off 
by volcanoes to the diffusion of heat over contiguous lime- 
stone rocks, and not to processes going on at the point where 
the temperature was most intense. 

Nor do 1 feel quite satisfied with the explanation offered 
by the Professor, of the presence of sal-ammoniac in the lava, 
which he refers to the vegetable matter existing in meadow- 
land overflowed by the molten current. If such were the 
origin of the volatile alkali, we ought not to find it exhaled 
round the orifices of the crater, or from any of the fumaroles 
proceeding directly from the same internal focus of action. 

It is not my purpose, however, especially on such an occa- 

Remarks on Volcanoes. 283 

sion as the present, to criticise the labours of this eminent 
chemist, or to dwell upon those points in which the results 
of my own humbler inquiries in the same field of research 
may clash with his. It is sufficient for me to have pointed 
out to you his memoirs on the subject of the Iceland Vol- 
canoes, as an important present rendered by chemistry to 
the sister science of geology ; and as a service, too, which 
those who turn away with indifference from researches of a 
more refined nature, lying strictly within the domain of pure 
chemistry, would be likely to accept as an undeniable evi- 
dence of the extensive utility of our pursuits. 

It is, indeed, a fortunate circumstance, in more respects 
than one, when such happy applications of chemical prin- 
ciples to other departments of natural knowledge are carried 
out by those of our brethren who had before established 
their reputation amongst ourselves by researches which 
chemists, and chemists only, are capable of appreciating. 

No geologist, at least, can feel that he has a right to im- 
pugn as visionary, conclusions which have been deduced by 
a philosopher, who had before attained the first rank amongst 
experimentalists by his profound and intricate investigations 
into the members of the Cacodyle series ; just as for the 
same reason no candid mind can fail to pay deference to the 
suggestions of another of our foreign associates, on questions 
relating to physiology, agriculture, and the like ; knowing 
that before that eminent philosopher had turned his atten- 
tion to these subjects, he had already earned a great name 
amongst chemists, by the success with which he had grappled 
with the most difficult problems in organic chemistry ; and 
by the flood of light which he had shed over a class of bodies 
before comparatively unattractive, owing to the obscurity 
which enveloped their real nature, and the absence of those 
connecting links, the discovery of which by himself, more 
than perhaps by any other single individual, has shewn that 
they constitute the parts of one harmonious and unbroken 
series. — (Dr Daubeny 's Anniversary Address to the Chemical 
Society of London.) 

284 Medicinal Mineral Water at Helwdn. 

On the Discovery and Analysis of a Medicinal Mineral 
Water at Helwdn, near Cairo. (In a Letter to Professor 
Jameson, from Leonard Horner, Esq., F.R.S.L. & E., 
and F.G.S.) 

I have been for a considerable time in correspondence with 
the Honourable Charles Augustus Murray, H.M. Consul- 
General and Diplomatic Agent in Egypt,* on the subject of 
some geological researches instituted by me respecting the 
alluvial deposits in the Nile Valley which are now in progress. 
In the following letter, dated the 2d of May 1852, he announced 
to me his discovery of a mineral water, which he believed 
might prove of great value to the inhabitants of Cairo and 
the vicinity. 

" Having heard from my friend, Dr Abbott of Cairo, that 
some Arabs had told him of the existence of mineral springs 
near the edge of the desert, on the east bank of the Nile, 
nearly opposite to Memphis, I crossed over thither to a village 
called Helwan, and having obtained a confirmation of the re- 
port from the Scheik of the village, I went out with him, 
accompanied by two men with spades. Not more than two 
miles from the village, in an easterly direction, and about 
one mile beyond the cultivable soil, we came to a small green 
oasis in the desert, betokening the presence of water. On 
approaching it, a strong sulphurous effluvium tainted the air, 
and at the upper edge of the little oasis, I came to the spring, 
bubbling up into a natural basin in the sand, about 5 feet 
long, 4 feet broad, and 3 J feet deep. Its temperature, at the 
time of my visit, was 90° Fahr., but the Arabs told me it 
was sometimes much warmer. Judging from the appearance 
and smell, I conceive that the principal mineral ingredients 
of the water must be sulphur and iron ; but there is a gray- 
blue film upon the surface, which leads me to imagine the 
possible presence of iodine. 

" Filling a bottle which I had carefully cleaned, I proceeded 
in my search in a southerly direction, and found four more 

* Mr Murray has recently been appointed our Minister Plenipotentiary to 
the Swiss Confederation. 

Medicinal Mineral Water at Helwdn. 285 

springs, two of them saline, and two sulphureous ; none of 
them, however, so abundant as the first. At one of the latter 
springs I filled a second bottle, and both of them I have sent 
to you by this steamer, in order that you may have them 
analysed. Bottle A is the central spring, B a spring to the 
south, the last but one, a mile and a half from A. 

" About a mile north of A, I came to a small spring very 
much choked with sand, so much so, that in half-an-hour's 
work with our two spades, I could only get up a kind of black 
mud, of which I have sent you a specimen, in a third bottle C. 

" Is it not marvellous that the existence of these mineral 
springs, not more than four hours ride from Cairo, should 
hitherto have been unknown, not only to the numerous scienti- 
fic travellers who have visited Egypt, but also to the Egyptian 
government ? Only two months ago, the viceroy sent an officer 
to inspect a mineral spring on the eastern shore of the Red 
Sea, with the view of establishing baths there. I anticipate 
the most beneficial results to invalids from the discovery of 
these springs, and I hope the report of your analysing chemist 
will confirm my anticipation." 

On receiving this letter, I wrote to Mr Murray, requesting 
him to obtain some details of the geological structure of the 
country in the immediate vicinity of the springs. " I pre- 
sume, I said, from the short distance they are from Cairo, 
that they must lie near the foot of a range of hills that are a 
continuation of the nummulite limestone of Gebel Mokattam, 
behind Cairo ; and as that limestone contains gypsum, it is 
desirable to know whether that mineral is found near the 
springs, and also whether there exist any veins or nodules 
of sulphuret of iron, not an unfrequent accompaniment of that 
limestone." Mr Murray afterwards informed me, that he 
had requested M. Hekekyan Bey, the engineer in the service 
of the viceroy, who is conducting the geological researches 
for me above referred to, and whose field of operations is just 
opposite to the Helwan springs, to go to the spot and make 
out a detailed report of the nature of the soil, and collect 
specimens of the adjacent rocks ; and he forwarded to me the 
report of M. Hekekyan Bey, from which I extract the follow- 
ing particulars : — 

2$6 Medicinal Mineral Water at Helwdn. 

" The lowest strata of the Mokattam run parallel to the 
valley of the Nile as far as Massara. These lower strata 
are capped by layers of limestone, calcareous grit, and ar- 
gillaceous sandstone containing iron, separated from each 
other by sands, marls, and bituminous shales, containing, all 
of them, sulphate of lime. Near Helwan, the argillaceous 
layers and softer limestones prevail. The summit-level of 
the desert between the Nile and the Red Sea is about thirty 
miles to the N.E. of Helwan. It frequently rains there in 
winter, and torrents precipitate themselves into the Nile by 
channels having beds of clay covered by sand. A large por- 
tion of the water may be detained in basins, natural and ar- 
tificial, and from thence passing between the layers of im- 
pervious clays, through ferruginous and sulphurous shales 
and sands containing also crystallized gypsum, come out at 
Helwan, and at several other places above the Helwan springs 
on this side of the Mokattam, and at Aine el Moussa on the 
Red Sea, where there is a warm spring, similar in quality to 
that at Helwan. The elevation of the springs above the val- 
ley is about 40 feet. From the highest level of the Nile in- 
undations, the ground rises very gently, and for the first mile 
is sand mixed with clay ; this is succeeded by a zone of flat 
ground, covered at first with a slight crust of saline clay, the 
salt increasing in quantity towards the springs. The plain 
ends at the foot of a very slightly elevated plateau of loose 
dry shales and marls, running nearly horizontally from north 
to south. M. Hekekyan Bey adds, — ■ I think there is only 
one spring. The temperature of the water felt warm to our 
hands after an exposure of several hours to the burning rays 
of an Egyptian sun in the month of June. Sulphurous hy- 
drogen gas rises from the limpid water of the spring. It is 
rather bitter to the taste, and there is something peculiarly 
unctuous to the touch in its deposits, which I may compare 
to the white of a raw egg. I perceived no thin plates on the 
water. The supply is considerable, for it is made to water 
about three or four acres of sedge, used for matting. I pre- 
sume that the water of the springs, having filled up the line 
of hollows that serve as a reservoir for it, running over, oozes 
down in a westerly direction through a surface-layer of sand 

Medicinal Mineral Water at Helwdn. 287 

and clay, which it is continually impregnating with salt un- 
der the evaporating influence of the sun. Mr Erben, who 
accompanied me, bathed in the spring, and experienced sen- 
sations of a slight prickly heat all over his body, which lasted 
about half a minute, and his hands retained the odour of vio- 
lets for about ten minutes." 

The analyses were kindly undertaken by my friend Dr 
Hofmann, Professor at the Royal College of Chemistry, who 
gave me the following results of his examination of the con- 
tents of the three bottles, and of a specimen of a rock sent 
along with them. 

1. The bottle marked " Southern Spring." (B.) 

Amount of fixed constituents in the gallon (70,000 grains), 352 grs. 

Mineral Oxides. Mineral Acids. 

tvt ' . I in large Sulphuric acid, "I in large 

Magnesia, > ^P „ * . . , ' } 9 

o i° quantity. Carbonic acid, J quantity. 

Iron, 1 Hydrochloric acid — trace. 

» i • * traces. 

Alumina, J 

The water contained free sulphuretted hydrogen 

The water was especially examined for iodine, but none 
was found. However, in order to decide this question in a 
positive manner, a much larger quantity of water would be 

No definite statement can be made as to the mode in which 
the bases are combined with the acids, without a full quan- 
titative analysis. From the fact, however, that the water, 
when boiled, furnished a deposit of carbonate of lime, it may 
be inferred that it probably contains the following salts : — 

Carbonate of lime, 1, u , , ^ , „ . 

Carbonate of iron, j heW m solufclon b ? free carbomc acld " 

Sulphate of lime. 

Sulphate of magnesia. 

Sulphate of soda. 

Chloride of sodium. 

Sesquichloride of aluminum — traces. 

2. The bottle marked " Central Spring." (A.) 
Amount of fixed constituents in the gallon (mean of two 
experiments), 444 grains. 

288 Medicinal Mineral Water at Helwdn. 

The constituents of this water were exactly the same as 
those in the other water. In addition, a small quantity of 
silicic acid was found. The water likewise contained free 
sulphuretted hydrogen. No iodine could be found in it. 

In the case of the two waters, it was impossible to perform 
a quantitative analysis, owing to the small amount of water 
at my disposal. 

3. TJie bottle with Sand. (C.) 

This specimen chiefly consisted of common siliceous sand, 
mixed with a small quantity of sulphur, arising from the de- 
composition of the sulphuretted hydrogen by contact with the 
air, and lastly, of a very small quantity of sulphuret of iron, 
which, together with some finely divided coloured sand, imparts 
the dark colour to the water with which the sand is mixed. 

4. The Rock. 

This substance is soluble in hydrochloric acid, with evolu- 
tion of carbonic acid. Only a very trifling proportion of 
silica is left behind. The solution contains chiefly lime and 
magnesia. The rock is therefore a dolomite limestone, in 
which, moreover, traces of sulphate of lime, together with 
common salt, are present. 

A quantitative analysis of the sand and of the rock would 
not have afforded much interest. 


For the purpose of obtaining a quantitative analysis of the 
solid constituents of the water, I addressed a letter, in the 
absence of Mr Murray from Cairo, to Alfred S. Walne, Esq., 
Her Britannic Majesty's Consul at Cairo, requesting him to 
send me a concentrated solution, by the evaporation of a con- 
siderable quantity of the water. This he kindly undertook to 
do. but the medical officer of the viceroy, to whom the task 
was confided, unfortunately evaporated the water to dryness. 
Mr Walne, however, sent me the residuum of the evaporation 
of 6J lb. of the water, weighing 58J grammes. This I 
placed for analysis in the hands of Mr James S. Brazier, who 
had long worked under Dr Hofmann in the Royal College of 
Chemistry, and on whose skill and accuracy in such analyses 

Medicinal Mineral Water at Helwdn. 


Dr Hofmann places great reliance. Mr Brazier is now as- 
sistant to the Professor of Chemistry in Marischal College, 
Aberdeen. The results of his examination are contained in 
the following letter : — 

" Aberdeen, July 25, 1853. 

" Dear Sir,— Inclosed are the results of my analysis of 
the residue of the H el wan mineral water. This I have just ar- 
ranged according to its per-centage composition, and if this 
residue corresponds to the same water as that in which Dr 
Hofmann found 352 grains per gallon, the constituents of a 
gallon may be easily arrived at by multiplying by 3J. I 
have not made this calculation, as another water appears to 
have yielded 444 grains. 

° My analysis indicates much the same as was found by Dr 
Hofmann's qualitative analysis, only that I find a very con- 
siderable amount of hydrochloric acid. 

" Hydrosulphuric acid must have been driven off by the eva- 
poration, if in the free state, or converted into sulphuric acid. 
Iodine was specially looked for, but no traces of it could be 

" 100 parts were found to consist of the following consti- 
tuents : — 









Sulphuric acid, 


Carbonic acid, 




Organic matter, 




Precipitate by ammonia, 


,ting ^ 

of alumina and pho 


with > 


" These constituents may probably be arranged in the fol- 
lowing manner : — 

Chloride of sodium, . . 60-820 

Chloride of magnesium, . 6*050 

Sulphate of magnesia, . 2*536 

Sulphate of lime, . . 10-360 

VOL. LV. NO. CX. — OCTOBER 18f° T 

290 On a Medicinal Mineral Water at Helwdn. 

Carbonate of lime, . . 5*500 

Moisture (dried at 230° F.), . 12-423 

Organic matter, . . 1*205 

Silica, . . . 0-600 
Alumina and iron in combination "| 

with sulphuric and carbonic acids > 0*506 
and phosphates, J 

"J. S. Brazier." 

I was desirous that the quantity of sulphuretted hydrogen 
in the water should be measured, which could only be pro- 
perly done on the spot, but I suppose it was an experiment 
difficult to get made in that country, especially at such a dis- 
tance from Cairo. 

An eminent physician in London has compared this last 
analysis, with reference to the probable medicinal virtues of 
the water, with the published analyses of seventeen of the 
principal mineral waters of Germany, by Berzelius, Struve, 
Schweitzer, Steinmann, Bauer, and Bischof, but cannot com- 
pare the Helwan springs with any one of these, in respect 
either of similarity of saline ingredients or of the proportions 
of those that co-exist. It may be described, he thinks, as a 
strong water, and is of opinion, from the small amount of 
purgative salts, that it is more likely to prove beneficial if 
used as a bath, than if taken internally. 

The Transition from Animals to Plants. 

It has been long asserted by Bory de St Vincent and others, 
that there exist in nature organized bodies which are animal 
at one period of their lives, and vegetable at another ! This, 
if true, would for ever put an end to the possibility of dis- 
tinguishing the two kingdoms when they shall each have 
arrived at their lowest forms. Its truth has, however, been 
denied. On the contrary, Kutzing, in his recent magnificent 
work on Algee, insists that it happens in his JJlotlirix zonata. 
He asserts that in the cells of that plant there are found 

The Transition from Animals to Plants. 291 

minute animalcules, with a red eye point, and a transparent 
mouth place ; that they are not in fact distinguishable from 
Ehrenberg's Microglena monadina ; these bodies, however, 
are animals only for a time. At least they grow into vege- 
table threads, the lowest joint of which still exhibits the red 
eye point. This phenomenon, which Kutzing assures us he 
has ascertained beyond all possibility of doubt, puts an end 
to the question of whether animals and plants can be dis- 
tinguished at the limits of their two kingdoms, and suffi- 
ciently accounts for the conflicting opinions that naturalists 
entertain as to the nature of many of the simpler forms of 

Such being the case, it is not worth attempting to decide 
whether the lowest forms of structure belong to the one 
kingdom or the other ; it will be sufficient that they have been 
regarded as plants by many eminent naturalists. 

It is in this microscopical cellular state of existence that 
the Animal kingdom ends and the Vegetable commences. It 
is from this point that the naturalist who would learn how 
to classify the kingdom of plants must take his departure. 
He perceives that those species which consist of cells either 
independent of each other (Protococcus uredo), or united into 
simple threads (Conferva monilia), are succeeded by others 
in which the threads collect into nets (Hydrodictyori), or 
plates (Ulva), or the cells into masses (Laminaria agaricus) ; 
peculiar organs make their appearance, and, at last, as the 
complication of structure increases, a leaf and stem unfold as 
distinctly limited organic parts. Kutzing cut to pieces the 
marine animal called Medusa aurita, washed the pieces care- 
fully in distilled water, put them into a bottle of distilled 
water, corked it close, and placed it in a window facing the 
east. The bits of Medusa soon decomposed, and emitted a 
very offensive odour, during which time no trace of infusoria 
was discoverable. After a few days, the putrid smell dis- 
appeared, and myriads of Monads came forth. Shortly after, 
the surface of the liquid swarmed with extremely small 
green points, which eventually covered the whole surface; 
similar points attached themselves to the sides of the bottle. 
Seen under a microscope, they appeared to be formed of 


292 The Transition from Animals to Plants. 

numberless monads, united by a slimy mass, and, at last, 
after some weeks, the Conferva fugacissima of Lyngbye de- 
veloped itself in perfection. 

Late observations on the reproductive bodies of some Algae 
shew that their motion is produced by vibratile cilia, exactly 
in the same way as in certain animals. But it is exceedingly 
difficult to imagine the transformation of one real species 
into another. The same species may assume a variety of 
forms, according to varying circumstances, and it is highly 
instructive to observe these changes ; but that the same spore 
should, under different circumstances, be capable of pro- 
ducing beings of an almost entirely different nature, each 
capable of reproducing its species, is a matter which ought 
not to be admitted generally without the strictest proof. — 

A few Remarks on Currents in the Arctic Seas. By P. C. 
Sutherland, M.D. 

The author states, that, during a voyage lately made in 
the Arctic seas, his attention was arrested by the power ex- 
erted by refrigeration and congelation, in separating from 
water any saline ingredients it may contain, and of thus 
causing disturbances in the mean density of the waters of the 
ocean, which, after being influenced by currents, can be over- 
come only by subsequent intermixture with water from other 
localities where the disturbance in the equilibrium is of an 
opposite character. He considers that evaporation, which is 
so active within the tropical and temperate zones, obviously 
renders the sea more dense by depressing its surface, and 
thus gives rise to the necessity for currents from the two 
poles of the earth, where deposition of vapour predominates 
to a considerable extent over evaporation. This he illus- 
trates by referring to the constant current from the Atlantic 
into the Mediterranean, caused by the evaporation in this 
sea preponderating over the supply of fresh water. He then 
points out the necessity also of a current out of this sea, in 
order that its waters, by the constant influx of saline matters 

Dr Sutherland on Currents in the Arctic Seas. 293 

may not become a saturated solution of the salts of the 
ocean ; and infers that counter currents into the polar seas 
must also exist to obviate the contrary tendency which the 
waters of these seas have to become fresh. He calls atten- 
tion to the importance of ascertaining the differences that 
occur in many parts of the surface of the ocean in respect to 
its saline contents, that we may be enabled to determine to 
what extent the currents and counter-currents may be influ- 
enced by the comparative freshness of the iced water of the 
northern and southern regions, and the necessary saltness of 
the equatorial and other over-heated basins. On this point, 
with respect to the Arctic seas, he refers to observations by 
Dr Scoresby, Sir Edward Parry, and those recorded in tables 
appended to his paper, which have been extracted from the 
Meteorological Journal kept in the North Atlantic and Davis's 
Straits during the late voyage in the Isabel. 

The author next refers to the remarkable difference occur- 
ring in the climate of the east and west sides of Davis's Straits, 
that of the latter being much the colder. In the absence 
of thermometric registers for the west, to compare with those 
on the east side, he points out how the appearance of the 
land, and development of plants and land animals on the two 
coasts, enable us to determine which has the warmer climate. 
Looking from the top of Baffin's Bay, which commands a 
good view of both shores, the east side at the sea-coast has 
many portions of land free from snow ; whereas the opposite, 
by its snowy and icy covering, presents an appearance al- 
together uncongenial. On the former are found a tolerably 
abundant flora, hares, and deer ; on the latter there scarce 
appears to be a spot to receive the roots of plants or the feet 
of these animals ; and in the productions of the sea, both 
vegetable and animal, the same disproportion is met with. 
Upon the whole, he considers complete the analogy that ex- 
ists between the North Atlantic and Davis's Straits, both 
with respect to the climate of their shores, and to their inha- 
bitants of the animal and vegetable kingdoms. With refer- 
ence to the question how this analogy is brought about, the 
author considers it difficult to decide whether the increase in 
the temperature of the water, and the consequent improve- 

294 Dr Sutherland on Currents in the Arctic Seas. 

ment of the climate, on the east side of the strait, arise from 
the disposition the ice has to leave the coast, by which means 
the water becomes exposed to the influence of the sun ; or 
from currents of heated water from a more southern region. 
He further remarks that its density here cannot be restored, 
if once disturbed, without admixture with a large volume of 
water somewhat above the mean density. 

Again referring to the observations of Sir Edward Parry 
and those recorded in the tables, the author remarks, that 
from these it will be seen that refrigeration has the effect of 
precipitating the salts of sea-water ; and further, that it ap- 
pears to him very probable that the temperature at which 
water begins to expand by the continued application of cold, 
is that at which saline and earthy matter begins to be preci- 
pitated in solutions of the density of sea- water. 

From the immense depth to which icebergs extend in 
Davis's Straits, and also from their vast number, the author 
infers that the temperature of the water will be kept pretty 
uniformly the same throughout a considerable part of its 
depth, rarely exceeding + 32°, except at the surface, where 
the action of the sun comes into operation, in which case the 
water of greatest density from saline contents would always 
occupy the lowest position. In illustration of his views, he 
describes experiments on the freezing of sea-water of the 
density 1*025, in glass tubes; and from these he infers that, 
not only does congelation precipitate the saline matter in 
water, but refrigeration also, at temperatures from 40° down 
to 32°. With reference to the influence of the density of the 
sea-water on currents, he remarks, that after the warm sea- 
son has fairly set in in the Arctic seas, nothing is more com- 
mon than to observe the surface-water, in hollowed-out lanes 
or fissures of the land-ice, moving slowly towards the open 
water at the edge of the fixed ice ; and this seaward motion 
is altogether independent of tidal motion or oceanic current, 
depending entirely upon the diminished density of the sur- 

In conclusion, the author states that he does not know that 
we are yet in a position to demonstrate the actual existence 
of currents into the icy seas as well as out of them, but that 

Recent Researches of Professor Agassiz. 295 

the necessity for them is obvious. It is not necessary, he 
remarks, that these currents, as in other parts, should occupy 
the surface, and probably also the bottom of one of the sides 
of the basins whose waters require to be renewed, as the 
Gulf Stream occupies the east side of the North Atlantic. It 
is plain that the cold and hot waters of two regions can be 
exchanged by the latter passing underneath the former ; and 
although the Arctic current from the Greenland Sea does 
not contain much ice to the southward of Cape Farewell, it 
is more than probable its chilly waters pass over a fork of 
the Gulf Stream, which ultimately sweeps along the shores 
of West Greenland. — {Proceedings of the Royal Society of 

Recent Researches of Professor Agassiz. 

Prof. Agassiz has recently made a rapid tour from Charles- 
town, South Carolina, through Alabama, Mississippi, and 
Louisiana, thence up the Mississippi to St Louis, Chicago, 
and along by the great lakes to New York and Massachusetts. 
In a recent letter from him, addressed to J. T>. Dana, dated 
Cambridge, 9th June, he mentions the following as some of 
of the results of his tour. 

" I have been successful in collecting specimens, especially 
fishes, of which I have brought home not less than sixty new 
species, mostly from the great southern and western rivers. 
Some of these are particularly interesting. I would mention 
foremost a new genus, which I shall call Chologaster, very 
similar in general appearance to the blind fish of the Mam- 
moth Cave, though provided with eyes ; it has, like Am- 
blyopsis, the anal aperture far advanced under the throat, 
but is entirely deprived of ventral fins ; a very strange and 
unexpected combination of characters. I know but one 
species, Ch. comntus, Ag. It is a small fish, scarcely three 
inches long, living in the ditches of the rice fields in South 
Carolina. I derive its specific name from the singular form 
of the snout, which has two hornlike projections above. 

The family of Cyprinodonts has received the most nume- 
rous additions, and among them there are again new com- 

296 Recent Researches of Professor Agassiz. 

binations of characters. Several years ago I noticed two 
species of new genus which I would call Heterandria, from 
the great difference observed between the two sexes, the 
males having the ventral fins near the pectorals in about the 
same position as in the Thoracic fishes, while the females 
have those fins in the middle of the belly as in the Abdomin- 
als. Of this genus I have observed several new species. 
They all live in dense shoals in shallow waters. Another 
type Zygonectes, presents no such sexual differences, and 
differs also in its habits. These fishes are constantly seen 
swimming on the top of the water in pairs, whence their 
name. I have found half a dozen new species of this genus. 

You may remember the remarkable genus Mollinesia de- 
scribed by Lesueur from specimens obtained from Lake Pon- 
chartrain and from Florida. If you do not, pray look for the 
figures in the Journal of the Acad, of Nat. Sci., vol. ii., to ap- 
preciate the facts here mentioned. From its structure and 
from the sexual differences observed among other Cyprino- 
donts, I have long entertained the opinion that this genus 
had been established upon the males of Pcecilia mutilineata 
also described by Lesueur (same Journal), and both are ad- 
mitted as distinct in the great Natural History of Fishes by 
Cuvier and Valenciennes. Having found both together in all 
the Gulf states, I have watched them carefully, and in Mo- 
bile as well as in New Orleans, I have seen them day after 
day in copulation during the months of April and May ; so 
that their specific identity is now an established fact. I have 
caught hundreds of them and found all the Pcecilias to be 
females and all the Mollinesias males ; and what is further 
very interestiug, the females are viviparous. I have been 
able to trace their whole embyronic development in the body 
of the mother, in selecting specimens in different stages of 

I do not remember whether I have already mentioned to 
you the existence in the United States of two families of 
fishes not before observed in our waters, one of the Myocinoids, 
with one species from Eastport in Maine, collected by W. 
Stimpson, the other the Erythrinoids of Valenciennes, or Cha- 
raxini without adipose fin of T. Miiller, of which a new genus 

Recent Researches of Professor Agassiz. 297 

occurs in the fresh waters of our northern and middle as well 
as western states, with half a dozen species, some of which 
have been unfortunately described as Leuciscus, Fundulus, and 
Hydrargyra, with which genera they have no affinity, while 
other new ones have been discovered by Professor Baird and 
myself. I shall call this genus Melanura, from the singular 
black mark which all species shew upon the tail. But I would 
tire you were I to go on with my ichthyological remarks, even 
if I should limit myself to enumerating new genera, for I have 
many more of these. 

I will close this long letter with one observation upon 
Crustacea, which may have a more immediate interest for 
you, if you have not yet noticed the fact yourself. On my 
return from Florida two years ago, I noticed among many 
specimens of Lupa dicantha, one in which the tail presented 
a triangular form intermediate between that of the male and 
that of the female. Unable to ascertain from a single speci- 
men whether it was a mere variety, or perhaps an improperly 
developed female, I awaited another opportunity for a fuller 
investigation, which the market of Charlestown, S. C, afford- 
ed largely during the latter part of February last, when I as- 
certained that that form was at times as common in the mar- 
ket as either the males or the females, and upon careful ana- 
tomical examination, I satisfied myself farther, that these 
specimens are entirely deprived of internal sexual organs, 
though slight indications of the openings of the sexual organs 
entirely closed up by calcareous matter, clearly indicated 
that they are imperfectly developed females, a kind of neuters 
among crabs, the great number of which leads to the suppo- 
sition that they are not without function in the general 
economy of these animals. The tail is soldered to the 
carapace, the last joints only at which the alimentary canal 
terminates being movable. At the same time males and 
females were dissected, and shewed the sexual organs in that 
fulness which precedes copulation. Looking afterwards for 
similar conditions in other species, I found in the collection 
of Professor L. Gibbes, specimens of Lupa cribraria, and of 
L. Sayi, with the same conformation of their tail. * * * * 
I cannot help returning to my fishes to say, that I have 

298 M. Ami Boue on the Palozohydrography 

now twenty species of Lepidosteus from the United States in 
my collection, a good foundation upon which to base a revi- 
sion of the fossil fishes. I could not say how many other 
new things I have collected, for I have not yet unpacked 
half my packages. — (A merican Journal of Science and Arts, 
vol. xvi., No. 46.) 

On the Palceohydrography and Orography of the Earth's 
Surface, or the probable position of Waters and Continents, 
as well as the probable Depths of Seas, and the absolute 
Heights of the Continents and their Mountain-Chains du- 
ring the different geological periods. By M. Ami Boue'. 
Communicated by the Author. 

The Palseohydrography is an old principle in geology, and 
is even still considered so by geographers and theoretical 
geologists who have not a correct knowledge of all the facts 
upon which this doctrine is founded. Water having covered 
the surface of the earth from the time that temperature per- 
mitted it, its abrading effects must have been in action during 
all periods of time. During each of these periods there were 
sea-shores, sea-cliffs, river-beds, and the like. Many of the 
sea water-marks have, in all probability, been destroyed by 
the length of these various operations, but here and there 
some still exist ; and it now remains for the expert geologist 
to arrive at the date of the origin of each of these. We will 
then be able to draw general geognetic conclusions from such 
a mass of well-established facts. We have an able essay on 
this interesting subject by Mr Robert Chambers (yid. Ancient 
Sea-Margins, 1848). It is necessary to proceed in this in- 
quiry from the most recent phenomena to the oldest, as I 
have already shewn in a memoir on the subject {Proceedings 
of the Vienna Academy, J anuary 1850). From the water- 
marks of a fresh-water lake that is now empty, we come to 
those of interior seas, of Mediterraneans, and last of Oceans. 
From these, we proceed to the water-marks of Tertiary and 
Secondary seas, and combine these facts with those given by 
the theory of elevation and subsidence of the earth's surface. 
Palaeontology is highly useful in this inquiry, for instance, 

and Orography of the Earth's Surface. 299 

in the determination of ancient deltas, the course of ancient 
rivers, and the depth of seas, as ascertained by lithophagi. 
Still geodesy, and a knowledge of the bottom of seas, are 
two things which would forward our views of these mighty 
changes. It would enable us to trace over the whole of 
the earth's surface, not only the abrading and upfilling 
action of water, but also the extent of subsidences, and of 
volcanic effects. At present we have only very small indi- 
cations of these ; for instance, one seems warranted to ad- 
mit to the west of Europe an old large continent or island, — 
not only till the middle Tertiary period, but probably to 
the old Alluvial time. The proofs of it are the state of de- 
struction and steepness of the western shores, their islands, 
the submarine forests, the direction of sea currents, the ele- 
vation of neighbouring continents, the geographical distri- 
bution of certain plants and animals in the now isolated west- 
ern parts of Europe. 

To the east of North and South America old land seems 
also to have subsided in the sea, and some summits of the 
hills form now only islands. In the Pacific, Darwin shews us 
an extensive subsidence in quite an opposite direction, viz., 
from east to west, where now so many coral islands exist, or 
are in formation. Along Western America, on the contrary, 
is a deep sea, the bottom of which has a tendency to elevation. 
The greatness of this action is proved by the high chains along 
the sea- shores which run like the meridian. It is apparently 
the mightiest on the earth's surface, and it is probable that it 
gave rise also to the greatest subsidences in the Pacific. If we 
pass to Asia, we find between Hindostan and Australia, with 
its satellites, New Guinea, New Brittany, the Solomon's Isles, 
New Caledonia, the New Hebrides, and New Zealand, the 
best indications of considerable subsidences, namely, many 
islands or divided continents, steep shores, rugged cliffs, and 
volcanoes, as well as a very particular distribution of vege- 
table and animal life. During the same time, probably, 
subsidences took place around the Hindostan triangular 
peninsula, and especially to the south of it. The same 
may be said for the neighbourhood of South Africa and 
on both sides of it ; for we find to the east fragments of 

300 M. Ami Boue on the Paloeohydrography 

continents under the form of islands. In the Atlantic similar 
indications of older islands exist. At last at the poles great 
subsidences may have been produced by the force which 
tended to flatten these ; the many Polar islands may also have 
been derived from it. But the Arctic lands possess a more 
powerful agent of change than the Antarctic ; many large 
rivers flow into the Arctic, and produce every year great 
motions in the ice-fields ; in the Antarctic, snow and ice alone 
exercise their powers, and the temperature is not so low as 
at the opposite pole, but the winter is eternal. The parti- 
cular external form of the Austral Polar continent, with its 
two points and re-entering angles, have been adduced by 
Hombron as proofs of their ancient separation from the 
southern continents (Compt. Ac. d. Sc, Paris, 1844, v. 18, 
p. 2). When we arrive at the following interesting conclu- 
sions, we unite to the preceding great subsidences in the 
oceans, the greatest continental elevations, not only as chains 
but also as vaults of whole continents ; and take besides as 
true, and probably founded on physico-magnetical laws, the 
well-known doctrine of M. Leblanc, that each direction of 
elevation cuts the preceding under a right angle, or at least 
under a very great one (Bull. Soc. Geol. de Fr., 1840, v. 12, 
p. 140). Without going through all the elevation periods 
either of MM. Leblanc or Beaumont, we may remain satisfied 
with shewing that the active and extinct volcanoes of South- 
Eastern Asia, as well as those of Mexico, Guatemala, and 
Oregon, cut transversely the older chains of those countries. 
Elie de Beaumont remarked, besides, that the various eleva- 
tions in America have changed invariably their positions 
from east to west ; but quite the contrary happened in Asia 
and Europe, where this change took place from north to 
south (Compt. B. Ac. d. Sc. Paris, 1843, vol. 17, p. 415). 

We have thrown some light on the nature of Polar countries, 
where ice and snow have nearly stopped every formation 
newer than the old coal formation, and have preserved us a 
picture of the state of land and water in that remote period. 
On the other hand, the great subsidences in the Atlantic to 
the west of Europe and Africa, are inclined from north to 
south, and seem to have taken place chiefly after the old 

and Orography of the Earth's Surface. 301 

alluvial period, at the same time that the central parts of 
Europe and Africa were raised into the E.W. direction. In 
Asia it would seem also that the great central elevation 
of this continent preceded the end of the alluvial time, and 
the direction of the eastern part of both Indian Peninsulas 
was changed to N.S. 

The elevations and vault of the American meridian chains 
were later events than the motions in the Old World ; but 
these phenomena were similar, in as far as regards the trans- 
verse crossing of the great E.W. subsidence of the Pacific. 

We ought not to forget that in every see-saw motion there 
takes place a subsidence as well as an elevation, a principle 
which is well exemplified in the plastic form of the earth's 

When the heights of central Europe, Africa, and Asia, with 
some parts of the countries of the Mexican Gulf, were 
raised during the alluvial period, in an equatorial direction, 
some extensive parts of the low and flat countries of North- 
ern Europe, Siberia, and even North America, were de- 
pressed in the same direction, and this gave rise to the er- 
ratic phenomena. Similar subsidences took place in that di- 
rection in the south of Europe, Africa, and Asia, for instance 
in the Mediterranean, the Gulf of Mexico, &c. 

On the contrary, when the meridian chains of North Ame- 
rica were elevated, those of Eastern America were depressed, 
especially in South America, where older islands disappeared 
entirely under the Atlantic. Again the contrary took place : 
— with the indications of elevation of the western coast of 
America, we see a part of Greenland, and of Arctic America 
subside. In the Old World the Siberian shores of the Icy 
Sea, as well as the bosom of the Baltic and Scandinavia, were 
elevated. All these see-saw-like motions took place in quite 
contrary directions. In the recent Tertiary period, we find 
some elevations in the meridian direction in the Old as well 
as in the New World, but these were preceded by equatorial 
subsidences. About the same time, facts shew, on the con- 
trary, immense equatorial elevations in Central Europe and 
Asia. Let us go back to the secondary periods, and we find 
connected with Europe, Africa, Asia, and America, great 

302 M. Ami Boue* on the Palaiohydrography 

oceans with islands, and we also find that these become more 
free the further 1 we go back to the primitive times of the 

These oceans seem, according to the forms of the actual 
continents and to their geognosy, to have extended in an 
equatorial direction, exactly the contrary of our present 
oceans, which are in the meridian direction. 

The islands and continents of those remote times extended, 
on the other hand, especially N.S., such as the partly-de- 
stroyed islands of Western Europe, Scandinavia, Arctic Ame- 
rica, Eastern and Southern Asia, Southern Africa, the East- 
ern partly-destroyed America, the Western America, the 
Eastern New Holland. 

If we go still further back in the primary period, we find 
many continents or islands which extend parallel to the 
equator, viz., around both the poles, between the tropics, 
and probably, also, in the warmer parts of the temperate 
zones, but the seas or the subsidences were then exactly in 
a contrary direction. 

Under the great causes of changes of the earth's surface, 
we must next mention the dynamic motions, and also reckon 
the destruction produced by the eternal tendency of the water 
to turn round the middle of the earth as much as possible 
after the astronomical laws. 

When we are forced to admit the mentioned cruciform al- 
ternation of the dynamic relations, it is only what we would 
expect to find in a spheroidal body which has an igneous 
fluidity in the interior, a rigid surface partly covered with 
water, and turning round itself. Every one admits that the 
centrifugal force in the course of time has given rise to a 
flattening of the poles, as well as to an elevation against 
the equator ; but this change in the spheroid must have pro- 
duced rents and subsidences in both equatorial and meri- 
dian-like directions. According to mathematical laws, the 
equatorial subsidences were contemporaneous with the ele- 
vations, but not with the meridian-like subsidences, because 
these appeared later, and owing to new elevated parts of the 
earth's surface, resulting from the subsidence of the rigid 
parts upon the molten mass, and these parts appear to have 

and Orography of the Earth? s Surface. 303 

been so much forced from their former position between the 
new vaults, as to have preserved a compression upon them. 
Those meridian-like subsidences must have had a tendency 
to produce only in N.S. direction, long and oval basins, and 
not circular ones, in E.W. direction ; which, on the contrary, 
was always the case between two equatorial elevations. The 
Mediterranean is an example of the last. Finally, we must 
add the fact which concords with the rotation of a body whose 
interior is igneous, viz., the arches or higher parts of the 
earth's body, formed in consequence of the centrifugal force, 
are parallel to each other, but no one of these goes entirely 
round the earth as a continued line. The Alps, Taurus, 
Himalaya, and the chains of Central Africa, are examples of 
this kind. 

Is it not possible to estimate the value of the various eleva- 
tions and subsidences on the earth's surface, at different 
periods of time ? 

It is possible, — but our knowledge in astronomy, physics, 
and geology is still too imperfect to allow of more than an 
approach to the answer. 

Let us take the simplest case of an island composed of 
horizontal marine beds. We would measure the depth of 
the sea and the height of the highest mountain of the island, 
add these together, and then endeavour to ascertain whether 
the sea subsided, or the land elevated. As to the last con- 
clusion there remains the question, Does the sea bottom still 
preserve its original height \ This shews us the necessity 
of having a knowledge of the normal depth of all seas in the 
primitive time, so that, according to our knowledge of Batho- 
graphy, and the whole quantity of water on the earth, we 
might then limit per maxima and minima the same value for 
the various periods. This done, we could then calculate each 

Let us now take the case of an island of a roof-like form, 
where we shall have the elevation of the summit of the roof, 
we could also obtain the elevation of each isolated parts of 
its inclined phases. 

If the island is long, with a steep inclination on one side, 
and a very slightly inclined plane on the other, as for instance, 

304 M. Ami Boue on the Palceohydrography 

in the North American point, we can estimate the value of 

the low shore, when we know the elevation of the high and 
steep chain, but the sea should have on both sides the same 
depth, which is frequently not the case. The sea can be deep 
on one side, and shallow on the other, or deep or shallow on 
both. For this reason, the normal depth of the sea will al- 
ways better suit for the calculations. 

When a rigid part of the earth was elevated, vaults were 
produced, or in other words, elevations and subsidences, ac- 
cording to the principle of the see-saw motion. If the value 
of such an elevation above the level of the sea is found, it is 
easy to obtain that of the subsidences under water, because 
both values are determined by an equal angle around a fixed 
point. A country might have been subjected to a simple 
see-saw like motion, as England for instance, where one 
shore is high and hilly, and the other flat, with subsidences 
in the Northern sea. 

The middle of an island can have been vaulted with a kind 
of double see-saw motion, of which the two elevated extre- 
mities represent the middle of the vault. The subsidences 
of both sides under the sea-level would equal the height of 
the vault above the sea-level. 

The variation in the position of the highest part of the 
elevation changes nothing in the results, the triangles which 
are to be constructed on both sides, above and below the sea- 
level, will only become more and more unequal the more the 
greatest elevation is placed further from the middle part of 
the observed land on one or other side. 

If two tijjangles represent the vault above the sea-level, and 
their base be that level, and if we lengthen these lines on 
both sides of their relative value in the triangles, and if we 
do the same with the two lines which descend from the 
middle of the vault, till the sea-shore on both sides become, 
through this construction on each side under the sea, similar 
triangles with angles of equal value as the 

vault above the sea. This result remains 

the same whatever irregularity the vault V/ 

may have ; but in the last case the values of the triangles 

and a gics on both sides are unequal. In this way we arrive 

and Orography of the Earth's Surface. 305 

knowledge of the approximate places of the subsidences, 
which are never far from that of the elevations, because the 
value of the elevations known, the length of the lines be- 
tween the sea-level and the highest point of the vault re- 
mains equal to the length of the lines of the subsidences in 
the triangles. 

As many protuberances of the chains suffered diminutions, 
we should include them in our calculations ; and should con- 
struct the triangle by tangents to the two arches of the 
vaults, and the lost summit would be restored approximately 
by this construction. This method seems 
also to give us a mean to determine in the //|Yv 
interior of the earth the place where the ele- 1 / \ I 

vation began, because the causes of it are * ^ 

lower. It is only necessary to add to the height of the 
highest point of the elevated vault above the sea-level, the 
normal covering of the compact part of the earth under the 
normal depth of the sea, and then to lengthen these lines in 
its entire value in the interior of the earth. This way of 
proceeding is the same, whether the elevation be a primi- 
tive one, or may have taken place where others already 
were formed, The normal depth of sea being necessarily a 
value equal to the normal thickness of the last compact and 
rigid covering of the earth's surface, and, on the other hand, 
the elevated parts of the earth's surface having had their 
place in the interior of the earth before this motion, we have 
A C = G H, and CF = F G ; or, in other words, 

the depth of the cause of elevation, + = 2 

Ac +2CF. Now if Ac = 26, 000 feet, as in 
the Himalayas, and CF = 2000 feet, we would _ 
already have for the depth + —56,000 feet, 
which is not far from that to which calcula- _ 
tions on the temperature of the earth have 
conducted M. Cordier ; at least it will be so 

when we correct the now acknowledged ' 4- 
errors in some facts on which Cordier' s calculations rest, and 
also take into consideration the destruction of the summit of 
the chains. 

VOL. LV. NO. CX. — OCTOBER 1853. U 

306 M. Ami Boue on the Palceohydrography 

In this way we should obtain an idea of the true site of 
volcanic action ; or of the very unequal limits where there is 
in the earthy mass already complete rigidity on one side and 
igneous fluidity on the other. If, according to this, the depth 
of volcanic action is pretty great, still it is not so, as some 
people would conclude, from the extent of the vibrations of 
earthquakes. As that depth must be in extensive relation 
with our highest chains, and as the height of our highest hills 
even surpasses the value of their parts in the earth which 
lie below the sea-level, it is not at all certain that this may 
be everywhere the case. On the contrary, the wrinkles 
and low parts of the earth's surface, and the depth of the 
volcanic action, or the fluid focus, must have various values 
according to the different places of the earth. This also 
clears up the different scales of temperature which have been 
established for different places by the observations on the 
increase of heat according to the depth in the earth. 

We find, next to elevated points, subsidences of equal 
value in the contrary way. Considering in this way the 
different elevations in different periods, we find that the 
greatest appeared latest. But it must be observed that 
the latest elevations must frequently have taken place upon 
already vaulted places, or even on those which have been 
more than once elevated. Besides the actually highest chains 
are those the least destroyed, and in uniting them with the 
first formed, may possibly not have been elevated more, or 
may have changed entirely their aspect by frequent subse- 
quent elevations. If the latest elevations have produced the 
greatest protuberances, a similar complicated relation must 
have taken place for the subsidences. In the primitive time 
the sea was not so deep as now ; this depth increased gradu- 
ally till our times, when the hydrographic value equalled 
those got by the hypsometry of our highest hills. 

Can we calculate the numeric value of the vaults of a 
country and its relative subsidences ? 

It becomes much more difficult to determine the subsidences 
which may be produced by the inversion of beds. If one had 
only one series of beds, elevated in a straight line, we should 
determine the angle of inclination, the thickness, and the ex- 

and Orography of the Earth's Surface. 307 

tent of these, and perhaps arrive at the possibility of calcu- 
lating the space left, as well as the space occupied. This 
simple case is more seldom than the others. Similar con- 
siderations may be applied to elevations of beds around a 
profound central point, a crater or a long rent. Yet, in 
most cases of elevation with upright standing beds, there are 
convolutions, divisions, various inclinations, fallings in, and 
later destructions ; besides, one period of elevation may 
complicate itself frequently with another, and make the pro- 
blem still more difficult to be resolved. We can only re- 
solve these by an approximative calculation by maxima and 
minima. One can calculate nearly the surface of a chain with 
the value of the space of its valley, and then estimate the value 
of the space of the hills, and on the whole as a compact mass 
of certain geometrical form, as for instance as a triangular 
division with two truncatures at the ends. One would con- 
sider the whole as pushed out of the soil. One should also 
reckon what such a chain was once, and what it probably 
lost by subsequent destructions. In that way one sees the 
possibility at least of arriving at an approximate result for 
the value of subsidences produced by such elevations of 

Great elevations of the earth's crust have left subterra- 
nean vacuities, and their number increases with the height 
of chains. I do not believe that there now exists voids equal 
to our chains ; that would destroy naturally all our calcula- 
tions. If they do really exist, earthquakes would indicate 
them, from the sea-water entering into such spaces. These 
are not necessary to explain the extent of earthquakes, for 
they are in a great measure the extent of vibrations of all 
dense bodies. 

To enlighten the solution of the former problem in question, 
we should put to ourselves the following question : — Is it 
possible to determine a normal depth of the sea during dif- 
ferent times, in certain limits ; and would it be quite impossible 
to find out, if not the value of each individual elevation, at 
least the general value of all elevations in each period ? This 
question is rendered soluble by what has been already ob- 
tained by calculations upon the solution, the refrigeration and 

D 2 

0O8 M. Ami Boue on the Pafaohydrogrdphy 

contraction of the earth, and by other facts given by geography 
and geology. If we had already only an approximative esti- 
mation of the value of each period of elevation, we could 
answer the question about the elevations and subsidences for 
each period in every country of the globe. 

It is not now sufficient to trace the presence of the sea 
everywhere ; but we must determine also its depth. If we 
knew how much, and in what quantity, a land or chain has 
been elevated or depressed, we could determine the depth of 
the sea-water by the height of the marine beds, which are still 
horizontal. But we should be very prudent in such determina- 
tions, and especially not to draw conclusions from individual 
countries. When the obtained halves are found applicable to 
the chief known parts of the earth, we can come to rational con- 
clusions, for we can learn by comparison how much nearly 
a given country is elevated or subsided. And we can hope to 
arrive at the maxima and minima of elevations and sub- 
sidences in a given period of time, because many formations 
in the earth give at least a maximum of height and subsi- 

As I conceive the solution of the problem, it would be 
found if the two following facts are admitted as sufficiently 
proved: — 

1st, What the globe always was ; and if it has remained 
the same, nothing can be lost except the heat, w T hich is of no 
value to us in this consideration. Yet many things have been 
changed on earth, for instance a part of the water has been 
turned into ice, and a greater quantity of fresh -water cur- 
rents, and of subterranean water, have taken the place of the 
former much greater humidity in the atmosphere. Perhaps 
the salt formations may be in some relation with this differ- 
ence between the quantity of fresh and salt water in the 
primitive times, and in later periods. 

2d, The protuberances and low places of the earth's sur- 
face are in equal relations to the rigid and fluid parts of the 
globe ; or, in other words, all the values of the heights of the 
earth are found to differ when related with cavities. The 
protuberances lessen the place of the fluid in the same mea- 
sure as the corresponding cavities do make. 

and Orography of the Earth's Surface. 309 

When the geographical value of the extent of land and 
water is known, it is possible then to determine by batho- 
graphy and geodesy the extent of the waters of all seas, as 
well as that of the protuberances of our earth spheroid. 

These numbers got, we could establish with them a normal 
medium for the thickness of the last covering of the rigid 
part of the globe, which forms especially now the continents 
and heights ; in the meantime, one would deduce from the 
extent of the fluid, the medial height with which this water 
once surrounded the rigid part. On this base all the changes 
known would have followed, and we could estimate all the 
values of subsidences and elevations. 

Afterwards one would determine exactly the geographical 
surface and space of the continents in each great geological 
period, to get the value of the place and space occupied during 
the same times by the water. To replace the surface of the 
land which probably was lost by subsidence in some geolo- 
gical periods, one should employ the probability of calcula- 
tions which may be based on what remained from each period, 
on the mode of distribution of continents from the beginning 
till now. But an absolute necessity would always remain, 
viz., the knowledge of the greatness of each series of eleva- 
tions in each period. To get this, it is only necessary to 
make the following reasoning. As we know now the mutual 
relation of the surface of the actual seas to that of land, as 
well as to what these were in the alluvial period, we can 
then conclude what surface the sea covered in the tertiary 
time ; we must subtract from the value of the surface of land 
in the alluvial period, that which it had in the tertiary, and 
add this difference to the sum of the surface value of the sea 
in the old alluvial period. 

But when two seas of the kind have not the same surface 
value, the smaller must replace the want of space by the 
greater depth. This necessity is the best proof that the seas 
have gained in depth from the oldest time till now, and that 
in exact proportion as the land became always greater and 
greater in extent. First there existed only islands, and for 
that reason a shallow sea ; the more this extended, the deeper 
the sea became. 

310 M. Ami Boue on the Palozoliydrography 

On the other hand, as the cavities of the earth's surface 
are in time in relation with their chains and protuberances, 
we ascertain by this a mean to determine for each geological 
period the greatness at least of the median value of the ele- 
vations ; not only for the general one as vaults, hut also for 
the more particular as cliains, and that through the median 
value not only of the greatest subsidences, but also through 
that of the deepest rents in the sea bottom. 

We can say the following : — When we find for a sea a cer- 
tain medium of depth, which has a determined value of sur- 
face, and a determined quantity of water, what medium of 
depth will another sea have with another value of surface 
and quantity of water ? When we have got this medium 
depth or medium value of subsidences, we can positively 
deduce from it the medium value of the elevations. 

But the medial value and the place of the greater pro- 
tuberances of the earth's surface are in constant relation 
with the height of the greatest chains and their places on 
the earth's surface ; so that we have a mean to conclude 
something approximatively for the chains, which may pos- 
sibly surpass the medium value of the elevations in each 
period. This is enough to shew how important are such de- 
terminations of orographical medium value, as they were 
traced by Humboldt, Strantz, Berghaus, and others. 

Some may object that we shall never either know the true 
place of lands and seas, nor the greatest elevations and sub- 
sidences in the various geological periods, notwithstanding 
we may arrive at the knowledge of the medium value of the 
elevations and subsidences, as well as at that of the sea 
depth. Our physical and astronomical knowledge is truly 
not yet sufficient for it, but geology seems to give hope 
for the solution of the problem. I would, for instance, ex- 
pect a natural result when one remembers that subsidences 
are always in the neighbourhood of the elevations, or 
vice versa, as in the see-saw ; one would determine the 
rest by traces left of the one or other of these events. 
Secondly, one must employ Leblanc's doctrine of the con- 
stant opposition in the directions of two events of the kind, 
which follow one another, and apply this to all the events of 

and Orography of the Earth's Surface. 311 

the kind, from the actual state and place of the protuber- 
ances, chains, and cavities now existing, to those in the re- 
motest times. A third important document is furnished by 
the palseontological geography. The countries where iden- 
tical petrifactions lie in a formation, may be distributed 
in countries very distant from one another, yet they were 
covered by the same sea, or even one same channel of 
salt water, notwithstanding now large chains intervene be- 
tween them. The certainty of such palseontological indica- 
tions increases with the more recent age of the formations, 
and diminishes the more one considers an older formation. 
The following are some examples. 

A great similarity is known between the miocene beds of 
Italy, of the Adriatic, of European Turkey, as well as of 
Austria and Switzerland. This proves the old free commu- 
nication of the Miocene sea on both sides of the Alps, not- 
withstanding the differences of climate and the chains inter- 
spersed. In the Eocene period, the extent of the nummulitic 
beds indicates the free union of the basins of the Euphrates 
and Tigris with the Mediterranean and the old eocene sea 
round the Alps. On the contrary, the difference between 
the tertiary fossils in Chili and the Pampas {Compt R.Ac, d, 
Sc 9 Paris, 1843, v. 17, p. 392), shews that these two neigh- 
bouring countries, notwithstanding under the same latitude, 
were already separated in the tertiary period by a mighty 
dike composed mostly of trachytes ; a circumstance which 
explains also the great mass of agates and of red argil 
amongst the inferior tertiary beds of the Pampas. In a 
similar way D'Archiac has been able to prove that the ter- 
tiary basin of northern France was hardly connected with 
Belgium and England, because at the place of the present 
British Channel there extended a chain in NES. direction ; 
for that reason the shells of the red crag of Suffolk, and the 
crag of Belgium, are not those of the faluns of the middle of 
France (Compt. R. Ac. d. Sc, Paris, 1845, v. xx., p. 314). 

On the other hand, the differences in the chalk formation 
around the Mediterranean, and in the NW. of Europe, com- 
pel us to believe that in that period there was a great dif- 
ference of climate as well as a separation of the two seas. 

312 M. Ami Bouc on the Palceohydrography 

The comparison of the Jura in the Alps and Mediterranean 
countries with that in Central Europe, has often induced 
geologists to acknowledge in that time two seas of very 
different depth as well as very divided seas. Lastly, the 
peculiarities of the Muschelkalk in the German Alps, in Supe- 
rior Italy, and in Superior Silesia, give proofs of the existence 
then of a sea channel where now the Alps partly raise their 
heads. (Zeitsch. d. Deutsch Geol. Gesch., Berlin, 1849, vi. 
p. 246). 

In taking another view of the subject, one finds still an- 
other mode of coming to conclusions. I mean, to make use 
of all that we know of the various thickness of the forma- 
tions, and the variation in the same formation, as well as 
of the absolute height they attain in different countries. 
But on this our information is still very small. 

I must remark, 1st, That the fresh- water formations, like 
the alluvial and Travertine deposits, are to be found at very 
different heights and in very different thickness ; 2d, That 
the various heights of actual seas shew the former existence 
of a sea in the same way at different altitudes. Besides, we 
have proofs that seas were formerly much more numerous, 
and sometimes placed on levels one above the other. This 
gives an idea how a part of the water has found room in 
older times on the earth. The salt-water sea has been con- 
verted into fresh- water before it became empty, or after 
having become partly empty. If we had, for instance, the 
medium value of the depth of sea in the old alluvial period, 
we could say how deep that sea was in Northern Europe 
when the erratic phenomena took place, because the boulders 
indicated its height in the southern part of this basin, where 
they came upon the ice floating, and not by glaciers, as in 

On the other hand, one could fall into error if one would, 
from the results gained in this way, conclude about the depth 
and absolute height of the sea at the foot of the Alps during 
these times, or during the tertiary period, because probably 
a sea was there on a higher level than that of Northern 

'3d, The difference in the thickness and absolute height of 

and Orography of the Earth's Surface. 313 

each formation furnishes us the means to know the depth of 
each sea upon its shores, as well as at a distance from them, 
notwithstanding that certain places, or frequently the deep- 
est, may have received no deposit at all ; but it must not 
be forgotten to subtract always from the absolute height the 
possible value of the elevation to which the whole country or 
basin has been subjected. For that reason, we attain a much 
more certain conclusion upon the depth of the sea, when we 
measure the height of a formation only above that of the 
basin in which it lies. The bed must be then horizontal, and 
contain shells of which the animals were littoral, or lived 
in waters of a certain depth. If the rocks are, on the con- 
trary, only alluvial, or conglomerates without fossils, then 
their height gives no certain indications for the depth of 
the sea, because the bottom of the basin may have been up- 

4th, One should always attempt to determine by the fossils 
if a formation was littoral or formed in lagunes of salt water, 
or in a deep sea. Such being the case, the study of malcology 
and actinology, or, in other words, the study of the life of 
molluscs and zoophytes, becomes daily more important to 

The Tertiary Sea appears to have been between 2000 and 
3000 feet deep along its shores, but not more than 900 or 
2000 in its channels and straits. The greatest heights of 
these formations have been produced by the elevation of 
their bottoms, or by the inversions of their beds. For ex- 
ample, they are in Switzerland 4000 feet, in Bolivia 16,000 
feet and the like. These limits are confirmed by the heights 
of tertiary beds which have been deposited in Mediterranean 
Seas on a higher level than the ocean. The greatest absolute 
height of the bottom of these former interior seas varies from 
a few feet to 500 in Europe at least ; but we still want in- 
formation on this subject. 

As the Tertiary beds were deposited in basins and on 
shores, and as such deposits did not occur in the deepest 
places, the Tertiary period must have had depths in their 
seas that reached from 3000 to 4000 feet. 

The chalk formation consists of marine formations in deep 

314 M. Ami Boue on the Palozohy Urography 

water, and of a littoral one. The seas during that time must 
have been very similar to the tertiary period, having a depth 
of from 600 to 800 feet ; but the chalk itself was deposited 
in water of a depth varying from 1200 or 1300 to 3000 feet. 

The Jura Sea, or at least that part of it where the Jurassic 
beds were formed, was a sea of more than 3000 feet in depth. 
The littoral deposits of the seas were formed under a sea of 
1300 or 1500 feet in depth, — the coral rag, similar shallow 
sea. In Western Europe we find for it the latter, a sea of 
nearly 800 feet deep, or even less. 

The Trias formation shews by its thickness that its sea 
had a depth of at least 3000 feet, with occasional places 
more shallow. 

The Zechstein and the red secondary sandstone were de- 
posited upon shores in water less than 1000 feet deep. This 
is confirmed by coralline formations and plutonic eruptions. 

In the primary periods the seas were deep and shallow ; 
the deep about 2000 or 3000 feet in depth, the shallow indi- 
cated by the many coral deposits found in the formations. 

In taking a general glance of the value of these depths in 
the various periods of time, we learn that the marine forma- 
tion never covered the whole sea bottom. Besides the de- 
posits on shores and in sea channels or straits, and from 
currents that now accumulate in our deeper seas, we have a 
great part of the sea bottom that remains now as formerly 
uncovered by aqueous deposits. It is difficult to calculate 
the present extent of plutonic eruption that takes place ; but 
it appears that volcanic matters are accumulating now in 
deep seas, as must have been the case formerly. But this 
will seldom occur in the deepest places where the pressure 
is very great. 

These values of the deep and deepest places can be esta- 
blished still for each period, if we admit that the scale of 
subsidences from the older times to the newer is an ascend- 
ing one like that of elevations and vaultings. In this case 
we can use the height which some formations attain through 
elevation ; by which events the exact time is given by the 
geognostical relations of position. The inclination or immer- 
sion of beds, and the repetition of elevation on the same spots, 

and Orography of the Earttis Surface. 31 5 

do not render this more difficult, because the same took place 
for the subsidences. 

In the old alluvial and recent tertiary periods, the great 
Sea Depths and their middle depths were nearly those of our 
present seas, which we can prove especially by the height of 
volcanic mountains and chains. In the tertiary times the 
elevations of the chalk and eocene formations indicate sea 
depths of 8000, 9000, 10,000, to 24,000 feet, which was the 
case immediately after the chalk period. The middle sea 
depth of the ocean may have been then from 4000 to 5000 feet. 

In the chalk period) the height of the elevated Jurassic 
beds indicates seas of from 6000 to 11,000 feet, and probably 
still more in depth when we consider the Himalaya. Their 
middle depth may have varied between 2000 and 3000 feet. In 
the Jura period the heights of the elevated Trias seem not 
favourable to the existence of sea depths of that greatness. 
The middle depth may probably have been 3500 feet, and the 
deepest places may have measured 5000 to 6000 feet. 

In the Trias period the well-known elevations of old forma- 
tions, as well as the great plutonic deposits, appear to indi- 
cate for the deepest places of the seas between 4000 and 5000 
feet, and the middle depth may not be far from 2500 feet. 
The greatest known height of the Trias exists in Bolivia, 
where it is preserved still partly on both sides of the eastern 
Cordillera, and reaches sometimes, according to D'Orbigny, 
the height of 2000 feet (Compt. R. Acad. d. Sc, Paris, 1843, 
v. 17, p. 388), a circumstance only to be explained by elevation. 

Lastly, in olden times the sea may have had no deep 
places, and only a middle depth of from 2000 to 3000 feet ; 
for all the high summits of older rocks are only the conse- 
quence of later elevations, but, on the contrary, all the rest 
of the oldest islands or continents do present themselves only 
as very low hills or even plains. 

When we construct a table of the values of the probable 
depths of the sea at different times on its shores, as well as in 
the middle, we come to the following interesting results : — 

1st, When the deepest places of the primary sea were about 
2000 to 3000 feet, the middle value of the deepest places in 
the Trias and Jura periods was about 4000 feet ; in the 

316 Palwohydrography of the Earth's Surface. 

chalk 8000 feet ; in the tertiary 16,000 feet, and in the older 
alluvial and actual periods 18,000 feet. This furnishes us 
with a kind of scale of value like that given by the subsi- 
dences in the seas during the alluvial period. I shewed 
{Proceed. Vienna Acad., 1850-51) that this last scale, ex- 
pressed by the numbers 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, and others, corre- 
sponds to the number of feet of the subsidences. 

2d, The possibility and impossibility of animal life under 
certain depths of water, conduce to the belief that the seas 
and their shores must have had always the same depths as 
now. Molluscs and zoophytes live, the first to a depth of 
600 feet, the latter to a depth of about 976 or even 1000 
feet, but their most common habitation is of far less depth. 
For example, the ostrea lives only at the depth of from 40 
to 60 feet. In looking over the value of sea depths at the 
time of deposition of the various formations, we find for all 
times a depth of the sea on its shores only of 100, 200, to 600 
feet in value. 

3d, Between these shores and the deepest places of the sea. 
— Our table shews that this sea depth was always more 
than 1000 feet, and from the time of Trias till later it may 
have measured already 3000 feet. In the meantime, in the 
chalk and more recent periods, other values of depth may 
have added themselves to the former, because deeper valleys 
at the bottom of the sea shew more extensive inclined planes. 
According to this, we find that the sea had depths in the 
Jura period of 4000 to 5000 feet ; in the chalk period, depths 
of 4000 to 6000 or even 8000 feet ; in the tertiary times, 
depths of 4000 to 20,000 feet; and in the actual period, 
depths of from 4000 to 24,000 feet. 

4th, We arrive, lastly, at the final result, that the value 
of 1500 to 2000 feet expressed nearly the middle value of 
the depth of the sea at all times, and that this depth must 
have been about that of the sea, if not in the primary, in the 
oldest geological periods. 

(7'o be continued.) 

On Animal and Vegetable Fibre. 317 

On Animal and Vegetable Fibre, as originally composed of 
Twin Spiral Filaments, in which every other structure 
has its origin : a Note, shewing the confirmation by 
Agardh, hi 1852, of Observations recorded in the Philo- 
sophical Transactions for 1842. By Martin Barry, 
M.D., F.R.S., F.R.S.E.* Communicated by the Author. 

When, in a paper " On Fibre/' in the Philosophical Trans- 
actions for 1842, I published drawings of the cells of carti- 
lage and the cells of coagulating blood, the walls of which 
were represented as made up of fibre, it was said that I must 
have formed the fibre with chemical re-agents. My announce- 
ment at the same time, that this, as well as all other or- 
ganic fibre, is originally composed of spiral filaments, num- 
bering invariably two, was considered as denoting " contorted 
views, not worth a moment's disputation.'' And my con- 
clusion, from what I had seen in large spirals, that the spirals 
of fibre, however small, contain the elements of future struc- 
tures to be formed by division and subdivision, to which no 
limits can be assigned, was ridiculed as " moonshine," and 
" a myth." Even Hervey's announcement of the circulation 
of the blood can scarcely have been held in more absolute 

Before venturing to publish observations so opposed to 
existing views, I had of course extended my researches very 
widely ; so widely, that the paper in which they were made 
known contains the enumeration of more than fifty distinct 
structures of the animal body in which I had found fibre 
still presenting the compound form in question, and upwards 
of 150 delineations of it, as seen in animals and plants, from 
the'substance of the brain to the mould of cheese. 

It was soon said and published: "Dr Barry might as 
well have entitled his paper ' On the Spiral Structure of the 
Organic World. , "t To such a title, though suggested in 

* The substance of a Communication read before the Royal Society of Lon- 
don, March 17, 1853. 

t Bowman, Cyclopaedia of Anatomy and Physiology, p. 511. 

318 Dr Martin Barry on 

derision, I have elsewhere stated that I had no objection. 
Indeed, so far from this, I have published my thanks for it to 
the proposer, as nothing could have been more descriptive of 
the results at which I had arrived. 

I knew that nature had been faithfully represented in my 
drawings, unassisted by the imagination, and that I had pub- 
lished no more than a simple record of observations. It 
therefore could not be doubted that the day would come when 
others would see what I had seen. 

That day has at length arrived. And it seems due to the 
Royal Society, in whose Transactions the paper in question 
was published, as well as to myself, that I should thus pub- 
licly state the observations just mentioned, so long ridiculed 
as " moonshine," and " a myth," to have been fully confirmed. 
In a paper, " De cellula vegetabili fibrillis tenuissimis 
conteocta (Lundo?, 1852), it is shewn by Agardh, from re- 
searches in Conferva Melagonium, Griffithsia equisetifolia, 
and Polysiphonia complanata, not only that vegetable mem- 
brane is formed by fibre, but that the fibre forming vegetable 
membrane has the very structure that has been so much 
ridiculed in my drawings, being composed of spirals, which in 
number he delineates as two* Farther, he delineates each 
of these two spirals as dividing into a spiral fasciculus, so 
that each fibre becomes converted into two fasciculi of spi- 
rals ;t thus demonstrating the truth of what I had said ten 
years before, that the spirals of fibre, however small, contain 
the elements of future structures to be formed by division 
and subdivision, to which no limits can be assigned. 

But my paper of 1842 contains a record of other observa- 
tions made in a field beyond the region of Agardh' s re- 
searches ; observations which I think explain how it is that 
fibre forms the membrane of the cell, and what I deem of 
more importance still — the mode of origin of fibre. I must 
here refer to the drawings in that paper, from which, in con- 
nection with facts that I had previously recorded in the Philo- 

* Agardh, loc. cit., Tab. I., fig. 8. 

t As in Conferva Melagonium, loc. cit., Tab. I., fig. 8. 

Animal and Vegetable Fibre. 319 

sophical Transactions, it appears — 1. That fibre has its 
origin in the so-called " cytoblast," the outer part of which 
always passes into a ring or coil of fibre ; 2. That when a cell 
is to arise, its primary membrane is formed out of this ring 
or coil of fibre ; 3. That then the nucleolus of the " cytoblast" 
becomes the nucleus of the cell ; 4. That the outer part of the 
nucleus of the cell also passes into a ring or coil of fibre, 
wherewith to form deposits such as the annular and spiral, 
or to weave the secondary membranes ; 5. That the term 
" cytoblast " is unsuitable, as the body so called does not al- 
ways become a cell ; 6. That fibre is thus more universal as 
well as more primitive even than the cell, for fibre not only 
forms the cell, but it forms other structures without having 
first to form a cell ; 7. That the prime mover in both the 
" cytoblast " and the nucleus is the nucleolus, which is the 
organ of absorption, assimilation, and secretion ; 8. That the 
nucleolus is continually giving off its substance and continu- 
ally renewing it, continually passing from the state of nucle- 
olus into that of " cytoblast " or nucleus, — so that the " cyto- 
blast " and the nucleus are each of them but the nucleolus 
enlarged ; 9. That it is therefore the nucleolus enlarged that 
passes into fibre ; 10. That the nucleolus always passes into 
fibre, and directly into no other form than that of fibre ; 11. 
That thus the whole organism arises out of nucleoli, for fibre 
is but the nucleolus in another shape, and every structure 
arises out of fibre ; 12. That the nucleolus is reproduced by 
self-division, and that subsequently, when it has passed into 
the form of fibre, the mode in which the nucleolus gives origin 
to other structures is such as to imply even here the con- 
tinued reproduction of its own substance — that mode being 

Primary Membrane of the Cell, its mode of Origin — Secondary 
Membranes of the Cell, their mode of Origin — Division of the 

With the exception of some from cartilage, there are no 
drawings in my paper " On Fibre " of 1842 that contribute so 
largely towards the solution of these three questions; as those 

320 Dr Martin Barry on 

of the " cytoblast " and cells of coagulating blood.* That 
paper will be found to contain drawings w r hich afford ex- 
amples — 1. Of the blood-disc or "cytoblast" giving origin 
to a ring or coil of fibre for the formation, in some instances, 
of the primary membrane of the blood-cell, into which pri- 
mary membrane it is actually seen passing ; 2. Of the nucleus 
of the blood-cell giving off fibre to form secondary membranes 
or other deposits ; and 3. Of division of the cell. The follow- 
ing appears to be the process effecting these three changes. 

The " cytoblast," so called, is at first an exceedingly mi- 
nute particle of the substance which, from its appearance, I 
have been accustomed to term hyaline. It enlarges, and at 
the outer part becomes finely granular. (There occurs no 
deposition of granules around it, as many have imagined.) 
It is soon seen to be flat and elliptical. At first it is never 
round, a fact of which my drawings in the Philosophical 
Transactions for 1841 afford countless examples, though I 
believe I have never mentioned it before. "f It becomes round, 
and is now in essentially the same state as a circulating 
mammiferous blood-disc (which also in all the Mammalia, as 
I long since shewed, is elliptical at the first). Its finely- 
granular outer part corresponds to that which is red in these 
blood-discs. When destined to form a cell it becomes in- 
vested by a membrane. In order to the formation of this 
membrane, there occur the following changes : — The pellucid 
centre, called the nucleolus, gives off globules. These glo- 
bules appropriate and assimilate the finely granular substance 
of the outer part of the " cytoblast " into which they were 
cast, and furnish the material out of which there is formed a 
ring or coil of fibre. This ring or coil of fibre passes into 

^ In all vertebrated animals the young blood-corpuscle is a mere disc (" cyto- 
blast''). In Mammalia it circulates in this form, while in the other Vertebrata 
it becomes and circulates as a nucleated cell. (This was stated in my paper 
"On Fibre," loc. cit., 1842.) — The evolution of red colouring matter forms one of 
the most remarkable changes in coagulation of the blood, and of this coagulation 
the formation of fibre constitutes the leading part. — The arrangement of them- 
selves by the mammiferous blood-discs in rolls like rolls of coin, seems to de- 
note the tendency, not merely to form fibres, but to arrange them. 

t Others have described it merely as " sometimes oval, and sometimes round." 

Animal and Vegetable Fibre. 321 

membrane. The membrane thus formed, or rather forming, 
expands into the primary membrane of a cell, leaving the 
nucleolus of the " cytoblast " to become the nucleus of the 

The nucleus of the cell, too, has its pellucid centre or nucle- 
olus, performing an office just the same as that of the nucleo- 
lus in the "cytoblast." The nucleolus gives off globules. These 
globules appropriate and assimilate the finely granular sub- 
stance of the outer part of the nucleus into which they were 
cast, and furnish the material out of which there is formed a 
ring or coil of fibre. I saw the nucleus of the cell actually un- 
winding itself as fibre ; and the fibre thus given off I followed 
from the nucleus to the cell-wall, were it was either weaving 
the secondary membranes, | or forming other deposits. 

Division of the cell is initiated by self-division of the nu- 
cleolus. The nucleus, which had been the nucleolus, is found 
divided into halves. J These two halves become two " cyto- 
blasts," which undergo the same changes as the parent 
" cytoblast." They become in the outer part coils of fibre. 
These coils of fibre form the membranes of two young cells ; 
and the walls of these two young cells where in contact with 
one another produce a septum, dividing the parent cell into 
two compartments ; and thus explaining division of the cell.§ 

The much disputed questions in vegetable physiology of 
the mode of origin of secondary membranes, and division of 
the cell, would have found a solution long before, had physio- 
logists paid due attention to the nucleus of the cell, first re- 
commended to especial notice by our illustrious fellow- 
countryman, Robert Brown. One conclusion regarding the 
nucleus they certainly did arrive at, but this was not until 
after it had disappeared ; and then they agreed in concluding 

* For illustrative drawings in my paper " On Fibre," see those of many blood- 
corpuscles ; for instance fig. 5, and other figures in Plate V. Some figures of 
nervous substance in that paper also exhibit " cytoblasts," passing into coils of 

t Loc. cit., Plate X., Fig. 133, from cartilage of the ear. 

X Loc. cit., Plate X., Fig. 134, from a neighbouring cell of the same cartilage. 

§ Loc. cit., Plate XL, Fig. 150. 
VOL. LV. NO. CX. — OCTOBER 1853. X 

322 Dr Martin Barry on 

the nucleus to have been — M absorbed." Nothing, as I have 
shewn, could have been further from the truth. The nucleus 
had exhausted itself in the formation of fibre for secondary 
membranes (or other deposits) and division of the cell. 

Thus there occurs no folding inwards of a " primordial 
utricle'' for division of the cell, as maintained by Von Mohl ; 
nor does there take place for this purpose a division of the 
contents of a parent cell into two parts, around which con- 
tents are formed the walls of two young cells, as supposed 
by N'ageli and Hofmeister.* 

Annular, Spiral, and other Fibrous Deposits in the Vessels of 
Plants ; — their mode of Origin. 

Each of these I find to be originally a fibre of the twin spiral 
form in question. Their mode of origin is therefore al- 
most implied by what has just been said regarding the 
nucleus of the cell. Thus, when the nucleus becomes a ring, 
the deposit is annular ; when the nucleus becomes an inci- 
pient coil, many of these unite end to end to form a long one ; 
which sometimes remains single, and sometimes divides and 
subdivides ; and if the divisions of such deposits, whether 
annular or spiral, be not continued but partial and irregular, 
we have the reticular form as well as an explanation of the 
supposed tendency in vegetable fibre to anastomosis. 

Importance of the Nucleolus. 

The nucleolus is thus the essential part of both the " cyto- 
blast" and nucleus. However inappreciable, it is never alto- 
gether wanting. This nucleolus it is which, where cells are re- 
producing cells, descends by fission from cell to cell. It is 
the organ of absorption, assimilation, and secretion ; secret- 
ing, for instance, the red colouring matter of the blood in the 
outer part of the blood-disc. It is continually passing from 
the state of nucleolus into that of nucleus ; continually giving 

* " Principles of the Anatomy and Physiology of the Vegetable Cell." By 
Hugo von Mohl. Translated by Arthur Henfrey, F.K.S., pp. 50-57. 

Animal and Vegetable Fibre. 323 

off its substance, and continually renewing it.* In the so- 
called cytoblast as well as in the nucleus of the cell, the nu- 
cleolus is the prime mover. It is more than the prime mover, 
for it passes into fibre. The " cytoblast' 1 that forms a coil, 
and the nucleus that unwinds itself like a ball of twine, 
really represent the nucleolus enlarged. The nucleolus thus 
enlarged passes into fibre ; and it passes into nothing else, 
it always passes into fibre. It is therefore not enough to 
say that the nucleolus is the prime mover. It is far more 
than this. The whole organism arises out of nucleoli. For 
fibre is but the nucleolus in another shape, and every struc- 
ture arises out of fibre. 

This reproduction of the nucleolus by self-division, — its 
continually giving off its substance, and continually renewing 
it, — and its passing into fibre, which by the self- division of 
its filaments forms the whole organism, — are facts which it 
was impossible to become aware of, without being reminded 
of another fact, made known by my " Researches in Embry- 
ology," t that the point of fecundation in the ovum is also a 
nucleolus, which after fecundation is likewise, and continues 
to be, reproduced by self -division. For in this continued 
self-division of nucleoli endowed with the properties in ques- 
tion, — this descent, as it were, of properties from one nucleolus 
to another, — there is to be recognized a fact, I think, not 
undeserving of notice in connection with the subject of re- 
semblance between the offspring and its parents. 

* This is an important point, essential to an understanding of the physiology 
of cells. When describing the " cytoblast" in a former paragraph as at first 
a minute particle, I stated that there occurred no deposition of granules around 
it, as many had imagined. They were right in supposing a smaller body to 
exist before the larger one, but wrong in imagining the larger body to arise 
from deposition of a substance around the smaller. Observers thought that 
their nucleolus in the " cytoblast" was identical with the previously existing 
smaller body. It is not so. The previously existing smaller body absorbs and 
assimilates new matter and becomes the " cytoblast." To some this difference 
may seem small. It is far otherwise, and essential to an understanding of the 
properties of the nucleolus. (See my " Researches in Embryology, third series ; 
a Contribution to the Physiology of Cells," Phil. Trans. 1840.) 

t Phil. Trans. 1840. 


324 Dr Martin Barry on 

Fibre is thus more primitive even than the cell ; for fibre 
forms the cell. It is more universal too ; for fibre, which I 
have just stated to be but the nucleolus in another shape, does 
not always pass into the membrane of a cell. — it forms other 
structures without having first to form a cell.* Hence, in 
this communication, when speaking of the " cytoblast," I 
have frequently mentioned it as the " cytoblast" so-called ; 
for the term is inappropriate, — this body does not always 
become a cell. 

The two spiral filaments composing fibre, at first appeared 
to me to run in opposite directions, which I subsequently saw 
was not the case, — their direction is the same. This error I 
corrected in Muller's Archiv for 1853, in a paper On Muscle, 
which Professor Purkinje, Foreign Member of the Royal 
Society, translated into German, and communicated to that 
Journal, after I had convinced him of the twin spiral struc- 
ture of the muscular fibril ; an observation first announced 
in my paper " On Fibre," Phil. Trans. 1842. For I found 
the muscular fibril to have a structure exactly the same as 
that of other fibre, and to be distinguished from it mainly by 
permanently retaining the twin spiral structure as an attri- 
bute of its function,"]" and presenting stages of contraction 

* If all that we are in the habit of calling cells be entitled to the terra, the 
difference in these respects, however, can be but small. For if the existence 
of the membrane of the cell implies the previous existence of fibre, it is equally 
certain that the existence of fibre implies the existence of the elements of cells ; 
fibre being made up of these. (See an observation of mine recorded in my 
paper " On Fibre" of 1842, shewing large spirals in a certain state to be made 
up of cells ; from which it follows that the spirals of fibre, however small, are 
composed of the elements of cells.) Yet in the order of formation fibre does 
to a certain extent, precede the cell. For fibre may be considered fully-formed, 
though composed of only the elements of cells ; but the formation of the cell is 
not complete, until its membrane has arisen out of fully -formed fibre. Again, 
although the elements of the cell are not less general than fibre (fibre being 
composed of the elements of cells,) yet some structures are seen to consist al- 
most entirely of fibre in which those elements have not formed cells. 

t Like all other organic fibre, however, the muscular fibril shews a tendency 
to pass into membrane. In some instances this tendency is seen in muscle still 
endowed with contractile power, as in the Echinodermata, where the fibrils be- 

Animal and Vegetable Fibre. 325 

and relaxation. That announcement of the spiral structure 
of muscle has, of course, had its full share of the derision in 
which the paper in question has been held. 

Embryonic states of the Muscular Fibril mistaken by observers 
for the fully -formed Fibril. 

In their endeavours to reach the ultimate structure of the 
muscular fibril, observers have actually gone too far, and 
reached the elements of a later generation. They passed over 
what really admits of examination — the mature fibril, and 
arrived at what almost defies the microscope — the embryo ; 
mistaking and delineating for the fibril itself, a row of quad- 
rilateral particles, the mere elements thereof ; mistaking for 
the chain, as it were, a row of half-formed links destined to 
compose the chain. I cannot wonder that in a row of quad- 
rilateral particles, no one could discern my twin spirals ! 
These particles are known to be light and dark in alternate 
order. They give origin to the twin spirals. And for this 
purpose the dark particles undergo what observers have en- 
tirely overlooked, — division and subdivision, changes which 
I figured in Miiller's ArcJiiv for 1850,* as seen with a micro- 
scope of Plossl. And I have lately confirmed the observa- 
tion when examining muscle with one of Smith and Beck's 
microscopes along with Professor Allen Thomson, to whom 
I refer, as having seen and delineated the divisions and sub- 
divisions in question. As the quadrilateral bodies divide 
and subdivide, the resulting minute particles become so far 
dislocated, that they slide into positions for producing by 
their union the spiral form. 

come smooth flat threads, with only here and there a trace of the crenate edge 
derived from their originally twin spiral structure ; though this twin spiral 
structure is distinct enough at earlier periods even here. 
* Taf. XVII., Fig. 29, e,f, d. 

326 Dr Martin Barry on the Penetration of 

On the Penetration of Spermatozoa into the Interior of the 
Ovum; a Note, shewing this to have been recorded as an 
Established Fact, in the Philosophical Transactions for 
1843. By Martin Barry, M.D., F.R.S., F.R.S.E. (Read 
before the Royal Society of London, March 17, 1853.) 

A paper on " The Reproduction of Ascaris mystax, by 
Henry Nelson, M.D.," published in the Philosophical Trans- 
actions for 1852, contains the following remark : — " Dr 
Martin Barry says, ' On one occasion, in an ovum of h\ 
hours, I saw in the orifice of the membrane' (the external 
membrane of the ovum) • an object very much resembling a 

spermatozoon which had increased in size 1 am not 

prepared to say that this was certainly a spermatozoon, but 
it seems proper to record the observation.' " 

Dr Nelson then adds : " Now, whether we believe Dr 
Barry to have really seen the penetration of the sperma- 
tozoon into the mammiferous ovum, or whether we agree 
with Bischoff and most other distinguished authors, and 
deny the correctness of Dr Barry's observation, as well as 
the possibility of any such occurrence, the present inves- 
tigations appear to be the first in which the fact of the pene- 
tration of spermatozoa into the ovum has been distinctly 
seen and clearly established, in one of the most highly organ- 
ized of the Entozoa."* 

When he made this statement, Dr Nelson was evidently 
not aware of what had been published on the subject. A 
reference to the Philosophical Transactions for 1843, Part I., 
p. 33, will shew him that my announcement in 1840, which 
he quotes, that 1 had seen " an object very much resembling 
a spermatozoon" entering the ovum of the rabbit, was fol- 
lowed three years afterwards by a communication to the 
Royal Society, entitled " Spermatozoa observed within the 
Mammiferous Ovum" and recording as an established fact, 
that I had met with ova of the same animal, containing a 
number of spermatozoa in their interior ; a fact established 
not only by my own observations, but by those of others. 

* Phil. Trans., 1852, p. 578. 

Spermatozoa into the Interior of the Ovum. 327 

For it will be found stated in that communication : " These 
ova were submitted to the inspection of Professor Owen, and 
I afterwards shewed one of them to Professors Sharpey and 
Grainger, all of whom agreed that the spermatozoa were 
contained within the ovum" Dr Nelson will also find it re- 
corded in a note added to that communication in the Philo- 
sophical Transactions for 1843, while it was passing through 
the press, that I had seen the same thing a second time ; 
having met with several ova containing spermatozoa in their 
interior in another rabbit. An account of this second obser- 
vation he will also find in the Lancet of April 8, 1843, p. 53. 
And the Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal for October 
1843, contains a drawing (Plate V., fig. 1.) in which seven 
spermatozoa are represented in the interior of an ovum, be- 
sides the statement (p. 212), that in one instance I had counted 
more than twenty spermatozoa in a single ovum.* 

Dr Nelson therefore was mistaken in supposing " the fact 
of the penetration of spermatozoa into the ovum" to have 
been first " distinctly seen and clearly established" by his 
own observations. He merely added a further confirmation 
in ova of an Entozoon, to what my researches on mammife- 
rous ova had enabled me to record as an established fact 
nine years before. 

Researches in Embryology : a Note supplementary to Papers 
published in the Philosophical Transactions for 1838, 
1839, and 1840, shewing the confirmation of the principal 
facts there recorded, and pointing out a correspondence 
between certain Structures connected with the Mammife- 
rous Ovum and other Ova. By Martin Barrf, M.D., 
F.R.S., F.R.SJE.t 

Referring to his account of the process of fecundation of 
the mammalian ovum and the immediately succeeding phe- 
nomena, published in various papers in the Philosophical 
Transactions, the author calls attention to the confirmation 

* " On Fissiparous Generation," Edin. New. Phil. Jour., Oct. 1843, p. 212. 
t From the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 16th June 1853. 

28 Dr Martin Barry's Researches in Embryology. 

which his views have received from corresponding observa- 
tions made by subsequent inquirers on the ova of other ani- 
mals. He more particularly adverts to a recently published 
memoir by Dr Keber, in which that physiologist describes 
the penetration of the spermatozoon into the interior of the 
ovum in Unto and Anodonta, through an aperture formed 
by dehiscence of its coats, analogous to the micropyle in 

Small pellucid vesicles, lined with ciliated epithelium and 
inclosing a revolving mulberry-like object, such as the author 
discovered imbedded under the mucous membrane of the Rab- 
bit's uterus, and described in the Philosophical Transactions 
for 1839, have been likewise observed by Keber, not only 
under the mucous membrane, but also and most frequently 
in some part of the cavity of the abdomen. Keber considers 
these bodies to be fecundated ova. The author agrees with 
Keber in considering them to be ova, but he does not suppose 
them to be fecundated, nor does he think that their mem- 
brane is the vitellary membrane (" zona pellucida"), which 
he believes to have been absorbed. He considers such ova 
to have been detached from the ovary along with their con- 
taining ovisac, which in their new situation constitutes the 
ciliated capsule ; and as they present themselves in unimpreg- 
nated animals, he now believes that the formation of a mul- 
berry-like group of cells from the germinal spot, and the 
process of division and subdivision of the latter, take place 
without fecundation ; but when this happens, the mulberry is 
not found to contain one cell larger than the rest, the nu- 
cleus of which, according to his observations, is the embryo. 
He is further of opinion, that in all cases of separation of 
ova, the ovisac, or internal coat of the Graafian follicle, is 
detached from the ovary, either entire and along with the 
ovum, as in the instances alluded to, or after the ovum has 
first escaped by rupture, as in the instance of the fecundated 

The author is led to the following conclusions with refe- 
rence to the structures connected with the ovum in different 
animals : — 1. That in the Mammalia, the vesicle he described 
as the foundation of the Graafian follicle, and termed the 
ovisac, does not remain permanently in the ovarii, but is ex- 

Dr Allen Dalzell on the Colour of Hair. 329 

pelled and absorbed. 2. That in the Bird, the ovum, when 
escaping from the ovary, is accompanied by the correspond- 
ing vesicle — the ovisac; and that the ovisac becomes the 
shell-membrane of the Bird's egg. 3. That the expelled and 
lost ovisac in the Mammalia therefore corresponds to the 
shell-membrane in the Bird. 4. That after the formation of 
the ovum, the albuminous contents of the ovisac in the Mam- 
malia correspond to the albumen in the Bird's egg. 5. That 
the author's retinacula in the Mammalia, after all, find their 
analogue in the chalazse of the Bird ; and that both have their 
origin in the granular contents of the ovisac, which at an 
early period are in appearance just the same in both. 6. 
That the shell-membrane of the Bird is thus a primary cell. 
He then points out the position which, from his observa- 
tions, is to be assigned to the several parts of the ovum in 
the language of " cells ;" and shews the presence of a plu- 
rality of ova in a Graafian follicle to be referable to the same 
cause as that producing more than one yelk (ovum) in the 
Bird's egg. 

On the Colour of Hair. By Dr Allen Dalzell. Commu- 
nicated by the Author. 

The colour of the hair, which, according to Griffith, was 
long attributed to pigment accumulated in the cells of 
the medulla, depends upon one or more of three causes. 
First, on pigment granules ; second, on diffused colouring 
matter impregnating the entire tissue ; and third, on the 
presence of air spaces within the fibres of the shaft. To 
these might be added the nuclei of the cells themselves, 
which, however, where pigment granules are present, are so 
surrounded by them, as to be scarcely, if at all, discernible. 
But where their isolation has been effected by boiling with 
moderately dilute caustic potash, they are shewn as dark 
bodies of an elongated form. . 

The colour of the hair corresponds in intensity to that of 
the iris ; as, for example, auburn with blue, and black with 
the darker tints. Nor are these relations at all confined to the 

330 Dr Allen Dalzell on the Colour of Hair. 

human species, although especially remarkable in the Albino, 
whose choroid is destitute of pigment, and hair either very 
pale or entirely white. 

Many observers have described the granular pigment which 
forms the first class of colouring matter, as if it was situated 
in interspaces of the fibres. I have, however, assured myself 
of the fact that pigment is never lodged exteriorly in the 
cells, but always in some part of the interior, as may be 
plainly seen in the hairs of some cervi, where the entire cells 
are dry and empty, except of traces of colouring matter which 
adhere to their walls. Changes, during the growth of hair, 
often take place at regular intervals in the colour and amount 
of these deposits. This is seen in the hairs of many of the 
Quadrumana and Carnivora, to which classes it is, however, 
by no means confined. 

In many hairs, the colour is uniform or diffused. Most 
animals have hairs of this kind ; good examples may how- 
ever be found in the short hairs from the face of the Hare, 
in the Tapir, and yellow Bear. 

Air spaces in the shaft. — These cavities, from containing 
air, refract light beyond the field of the microscope, and thus, 
like the cells of the axis, give the idea of colour; these are best 
seen in white hairs. Some authors have described them as 
fat granules. This is inaccurate, for, on boiling with ether or 
turpentine, they become filled with the fluid ; and even when 
treated in a menstruum, which does not dissolve fat, they 
lose their refractive properties, and retain only their gene- 
ral outline. They are empty cavities situated in the cells of 
the shaft, produced, as Kolliker supposes, by the absorption 
of its granular pigment ; for they are not found in any hair 
originally colourless, but only in such as have become so 
from some cause affecting their vitality. I examined a hair 
with one extremity entirely white, the other unaltered — the 
former part I found filled with air cells, the latter pigment 

Changes in the Colour of Hair. 

The change of colour in the hair is well seen in the com- 
mon Alpine hare, and in many of the Mustella, in which the 

Dr Allen Dalzell on the Colour of Hair. 331 

fur becomes white on the approach of winter. With age, 
also, its colour disappears, and very generally, though not al- 
ways, with the loss of its pigment, the vigour of this append- 
age declines. The hair is frequently tinged by the absorp- 
tion of materials introduced along with the food. The hairs 
of a rat taken from a ship with a cargo of logwood were ex- 
amined, and they were found to be deeply coloured with the 
dye. The Chinese have long enjoyed the credit of being 
able to alter the colour of the hair by the administration of 
certain drugs, either from white to coloured, or from one 
colour to another. At this moment, I know a gentleman in 
Paris who has for some years been engaged in the investi- 
gation of this curious subject, which the following incidents 
will sufficiently illustrate. 

At one of the meetings for 1839 of the Society Philomatic 
of Paris, the case of M. L'Abbe Imbert was detailed. He 
left for China in 1823, carrying with him a luxuriant crop of 
carroty locks. His friends in the celestial empire fearing, 
on that account, his detection as a foreigner, and his conse- 
quent expulsion from the country, shut him up on his arrival, 
and, by an internal course of constitutional treatment, speedily 
turned to black the hair on every part of his body. 

At the same meeting, the case of the Abbe Voisin was re- 
lated by M. Roulin. He had white hair on his arrival in 
China, but was subjected to a treatment consisting of internal 
remedies only, the result of which was, that it permanently 
became black. 

Under no less creditable an attestation than that of Vel- 
peau, we are informed that the hair of M. Rochoux changed 
from white to black ; in this case, however, without the aid 
of any medicament, merely by the re-absorption of that co- 
louring matter which had been temporarily destroyed. I 
had an opportunity last autumn of observing the effect of a 
chronic attack of jaundice upon a relative of my own, whose 
hair was white, but became distinctly coloured with the yel- 
low colour of the bile. Bush mentions the hair from the 
tattooed chin of a New Zealand chief being coloured with the 
pigment introduced into the skin. 

But the most singular instances of change in colour are 

332 Dr Dal ton jun. on the Proteus anguinus. 

those rapid, almost sudden processes, by which, in the course 
of a few hours, the colour of the hair is destroyed. Such 
phenomena become more wonderful when we remember that 
even the strongest acid scarcely, if at all, affects the pigment 
of the hair ; that the caustic alkalies dissolve, but do not 
destroy it, and that none of the organic acids (so far as I am 
aware), not even the formic, causes it to disappear. A 
stronger evidence in favour of its independent vitality can 
scarcely be found ; nor do I understand how such facts can be 
accounted for on any other hypothesis than that of a per- 
meation of fluids among the fibres of the shaft. Vauquelin 
attributed its disappearance to an acrid secretion from the 
follicle ; Henle to a molecular change in the elements of the 
hair itself. Grief, fear, and other emotions, are well known 
to alter the character of the secretions, and such mental 
conditions are also known to have been the proximate causes 
of these sudden changes in the hair. The hair of a lady, in 
my own family connection, from some distressing circum- 
stances which deeply affected her, became gray in a single 
night. A medical man in London, less than twenty years 
ago, under the fear of bankruptcy, had his dark hair so 
changed in the same period, that his friends failed to recog- 
nise him ; but the colour in this instance returned as his 
worldly prospects revived. M. Roulin states that a friend 
of his, terrified by the prospect of losing his fortune, had the 
hair on the side on which he reposed turned to gray in a 
single night. — (From an Inaugural Dissertation on the Ge- 
neral Integuments of Animals and their Appendages, 1853. 
This Dissertation gained the gold medal in the University of 

Some account of the Proteus anguinus. By J. C. Dalton 
Junior, M.D. 

In the Austrian province of Carniola there are a large num- 
ber of grottoes, the two most remarkable of which are in the 
immediate vicinity of Adelsberg, a small post-town about 
thirty-five miles inland from Trieste. The larger of these, 

Dr Dalton jun. on the Proteus anguinus. 333 

which is the only one usually visited by travellers, and which 
is justly celebrated for the extent of its passages, and for 
the elegance and variety of its stalactites, has its entrance on 
the side of a hill, about fifteen minutes' walk from the village. 
It is called by the inhabitants the " Grotto of Adelsberg." A 
small stream flows into its mouth, but disappears after a 
short distance through one of the numerous chasms which 
open into the principal passage. The grotto penetrates the 
hill in a nearly horizontal direction, and can easily be fol- 
lowed for a distance of one or two miles. It has also been 
explored for nearly twice that distance, but the passage is 
difficult and dangerous, and its termination has never yet 
been reached. In the waters of this cavern there are found 
occasionally a few crabs and fishes, of the same species as 
those met with outside, and which have been carried in by 
the stream that enters at its mouth. There is, however, 
another grotto, situated about a mile farther from the town, 
called the " Magdalena Grotto," the waters of which contain 
the curious species of reptile known as the " Proteus 
anguinus." This is the only place in the vicinity of Adels- 
berg where the animals are met with ; and though they ex- 
ist also in other parts of Carniola, they are more abundant 
in the Magdalena Grotto than elsewhere. 

Unlike the " Adelsberg Grotto," this cavern receives no 
stream at its mouth, and penetrates the hill in a steep down- 
ward direction, instead of horizontally. After descending 
for about fifteen minutes, by an exceedingly rough and irre- 
gular passage, partly rocky and partly covered with soft 
mud, the visitor comes to a pool of still water, varying from 
12 to 18 feet in depth, according to the season, beyond 
which the cavern cannot be explored. It is in this pool that 
the Proteus is met with. The water apparently communi- 
cates with that of the Adelsberg Grotto ; as it is always 
turbid when the latter is so, and vice versa. Both caverns 
are, of course, perfectly dark, and can be explored only with 
torches. The temperature, in the latter part of August, was 
about 40 c to 50° Fahr., and probably does not vary much 
throughout the year. It is certain, at least, that in winter 
it is much higher in the interior of the grotto than outside. 

334 Dr Dalton jun. on the Proteus anguinus. 

The Proteus is taken in small hand nets by the peasants, who 

watch for the animal as he lies almost motionless near the 
bottom of the pool, and capture him by a sudden motion of 
the net. They are not very abundant, however, and as they can 
be taken only when the water is perfectly clear, it is seldom 
that more than fifteen or twenty are obtained during the course 
of a year. The animals should be kept afterwards in obscurity, 
and at a temperature as nearly as possible resembling that 
of the grotto. It is necessary, also, to change the water in 
which they are kept regularly every day. With these pre- 
cautions it is said they may be preserved alive for an inde- 
finite length of time. I have myself kept one of them for 
several weeks without giving it any food, and at the end of 
that time it was as active, and nearly as well conditioned as 
ever ; only the branchise had become somewhat smaller. I 
am told by M. Fitzinger, the superintendent of the depart- 
ment of reptiles in the Vienna Zoological Museum, that they 
have been kept at the museum for over six years, without 
any other food than the organic matter usually existing in 
fresh water. 

It is very commonly believed that the Proteus is found 
only in the Magdalena Grotto. This, however, is an error, 
as it appears, by a report of M. Fitzinger's to the Imperial 
Academy of Sciences, in October 1850, that there are no less 
than thirty-one different localities in which the animal is 
said to have been found since it was first discovered in 1751. 
M. Fitzinger himself has seen specimens from eleven dif- 
ferent localties. Of these the Magdalena Grotto supplied 
much the greater number, viz., 312 out of 479. The reporter 
states that, in almost every instance, the animals coming 
from different grottoes, present such striking peculiarities in 
size, colour, and shape, that they cannot be considered as be- 
longing to the same species. Accordingly, he rejects the old 
name of Proteus anguinus, and adopts instead the generic 
name " Hypochthon." In this genus he comprises seven 
different species, as follows : — 
Hypochthon Zoisii. Hypochthon Laurentii. 

Schreibersii. ... Xanthostictus. 

Freyeri. ... Carrarae. 


Dr Dalton jun. on the Proteus anguinus. 335 

Six of these species are found in various grottoes of Car- 
niola, and the seventh in Dalmatia. Two different species 
never exist together in the same locality, though sometimes 
the same species is found in more than one grotto. One of 
the principal marks of distinction is their size, the maximum 
length of the different species varying from9J- to llf inches. 
The tint of the skin is in some species more rosy, in others 
yellowish ; the head is also pear-shaped, triangular, or more 
globular in form. The eyes also are more distinctly visible 
in some speciesthan in others, and vary somewhat as to their 

The body of the animal is cylindrical, like that of an eel, with 
its posterior portion compressed laterally into a kind of verti- 
cal membranous fin. There are four extremities, the an- 
terior three-toed, the posterior two-toed. The posterior are 
considerably smaller and more feeble than the anterior. The 
first circumstance which strikes the notice of the observer 
is the almost entire absence of colour, and the transparency 
of the tissues, which allow the cutaneous and subcutaneous 
vessels, and even the veins and arteries of the extremities to 
be perceived without difficulty. The heart can be distinctly 
seen through the skin at the anterior part of the neck, beat- 
ing 48 or 50 times per minute. The dark colour of the liver 
also shews through the integument very plainly on the under 
surface of the abdomen. The whole aspect of the animal re- 
minds one very strongly of the foetal condition of the higher 
vertebrata, particularly a,bout the extremities, where the 
transparency of the integument shews to best advantage. 
Notwithstanding, however, its delicacy and apparent feeble- 
ness, its motions are occasionally very rapid and energetic. 
They consist of swift undulating movements of the eel-like 
body and tail. The limbs are nearly useless during rapid 
progression, and remain almost motionless, applied to the 
sides of the body. It is only in the slow motions of crawling 
and turning that the extremities are used, and then only in a 
feeble and imperfect manner. The gills, three in number on 
each side of the neck, are in the form of long tufts, each prin- 
cipal stem being divided into six or seven branches, and these 
again subdivided into fine twigs. When the Proteus is 

336 Dr Dalton jun. on the Proteus angainus. 

in rapid motion they become distended with blood, and of a 
bright scarlet colour, contrasting finely with the light yel- 
lowish indefinite hue of the rest of the body. In a state of 
rest, however, they are often perfectly pale, like any other 
part of the surface. The animal occasionally lifts its head 
above water, and takes in air by the mouth or nostrils, which 
after remaining some time in the lungs, is expelled through 
the bronchial fissures in the sides of the neck. Notwith- 
standing this frequent respiration of air, however, and the 
large size of the lungs, the pulmonary respiration is a very 
imperfect one, and altogether secondary to the bronchial. It 
is said that in a moist and cool place, as, e.g., on the floor of 
the Magdalena Grotto, the Proteus can live many hours, 
carrying on its respiration by the lungs, and through the skin 
only ; but in a warm apartment, it expires in a few minutes 
after being taken out of the water, particularly if the skin is 
wiped dry, as I have myself ascertained by trying the expe- 
riment. Over the whole surface of the skin, from the anterior 
part of the head nearly to the end of the tail, there are mi- 
nute punctiform openings, the orifices of cutaneous follicles, 
which exude an abundance of transparent colourless mucus. 
The peritoneal cavity is also filled with a similar exudation. 
There are but few peculiarities about the skeleton. The 
bodies of the vertebrae are articulated to each other by con- 
cave surfaces as in the fishes, instead of one of the articulat- 
ing surfaces being concave and the other convex, as is the ge- 
neral rule among reptiles. The anterior extremities consist of 
a cartilaginous clavicle and scapula, fused into a single piece, 
a humerus, radius and ulna, three carpal pieces, and three 
digits, the two inner ones of which have three phalanges each, 
and the outer one, which is shorter, only two. The posterior 
extremities are supported by a simple pelvic ring, resting 
against the sides of the vertebral column. They are com- 
posed of a femur, tibia and fibula, a tarsus composed of three 
pieces, precisely similar to those of the carpus, and two digits 
of three phalanges each. All those parts are entirely carti- 
laginous, or so slightly ossified that it is difficult to be sure 
whether there is any true bony formation or not. The snout 
is rather broad and thick. The nostrils open on the under 

Dr Dalton jun. on the Proteus anguinus. 337 

surface of the upper lip, as in Lepidosiren paradoxa. They 
are continued into a cylindrical membranous canal, something 
less than a third of an inch long, situated in the thickness of 
the lip. There is a long row of fine sharp conical teeth in 
both upper and lower jaw ; and in the upper there is also a 
second much shorter row, in front of the first. The tongue 
is erroneously stated by R. Wagner (Comp. Anat., Vertebrata) 
to be wanting. It is, on the contrary, very easily seen ; about 
one-eighth of an inch long, but consisting only of mucous 
membrane and adipose tissue. The animal has the vertical 
stomach and short intestinal canal of the allied genera. The 
anus is a longitudinal slit, just behind the junction of the 
posterior extremities with the body. The liver is a long, 
lobulated organ, wrapped round the stomach and upper part 
of the intestinal canal, and extending nearly two-thirds the 
whole length of the abdominal cavity. The heart, inclosed 
in a pericardium, is composed of a single auricle and ven- 
tricle. The arterial trunk arising from the ventricle is par- 
tially converted into a double canal by an imperfect longi- 
tudinal partition. It sends off, on each side, three branchial 
arteries, and the returning branchial veins unite imme- 
diately below the situation of the heart, to form a single 
descending aorta. The lungs are simple, elongated, thin 
membranous sacs, secured by a fold of peritoneum against 
the posterior abdominal wall, and somewhat un symmetri- 
cally developed. The left runs down, from its opening into the 
oesophagus, nearly three-quarters the whole length of the 
abdominal cavity ; the right but little over one-half the 
length. The blood globules of this animal have been long 
known to be remarkable on account of their large size. They 
can be easily found almost unaltered in the bloodvessels, 
and particularly in those of the gills, even in. specimens which 
have been kept for a long time in spirit. They are of a flat- 
tened oval shape, like those of the frog, with a central, white, 
granular, roundish nucleus, also somewhat flattened. The 
length of the globules varied, in the specimen examined, from 
•0016 to -0023 inch. The breadth is usually -0013, and the 
thickness -0003. As this last measurement is exactly the 
diameter of the human blood globule, some estimate may be 

VOL. LV. NO. CX. — OCTOBER 1853. Y 

338 Dr Dalton jun. on the Proteus anguinus. 

made of the difference between them. The muscular fibres 
of the body are also very large, and very distinctly striated. 
Their diameter varies from 0019 to *0036 inch. The nerve- 
fibres were not remarkably large, those from the facial measur- 
ing only -00027 inch in diameter. 

The two most interesting peculiarities of the animal, taken 
in connection with its subterranean mode of life, are the 
colourless condition of its skin, and the imperfect develop- 
ment of its visual organs. At first, the eyes seem to be al- 
together wanting ; but, on close examination, they may be 
discovered, in the recent state, as two minute blackish points, 
situated about the junction of the anterior and middle thirds 
of the head. When the animal has been preserved in spirits, 
it is sometimes impossible to distinguish them until the in- 
teguments have been removed. They are then found lying 
immediately beneath the skin, imbedded in a small quantity 
of adipose tissue. In an individual measuring 8f- inches in 
length, the eye-ball was g^th of an inch in diameter ; and the 
optic nerve, just before joining the globe, a^d of an inch. 
Notwithstanding its minute size, however, the eye is suffi- 
ciently well developed as to its structure. The sclerotic is 
covered with brownish spots, mostly hexagonal in shape, and 
which are more thickly crowded and deeper in shade just at 
the margin of the cornea, where they form a blackish ring. 
The crystalline lens is globular, and T \ ¥ th of an inch in diame- 
ter. There were some appearances of a nearly colourless 
iris lying behind the cornea, but the parts were so minute 
that I did not succeed in ascertaining its existence by dis- 
section. The brain is pretty well developed, though less so 
than in other allied genera ; and notwithstanding the imper- 
fect condition of the eyes, the lobes which, in the brain of 
reptiles, are usually considered as representing the Tuber- 
cular Quadrigemina, are of very considerable size. The 
brain of the Triton cristatus, another naked amphibian, with 
large well-developed eyes, differs from that of the Proteus 
simply in being rather larger in comparison with the size of 
the animal, and in having a somewhat greater proportional 
development of the hemispherical lobes. The following are 
the longitudinal measurements of the brain of a Triton cris- 

Dr Dalton jun. on the Proteus anguinus. 339 

tatus 6^ inches long, and that of a Proteus anguinus 8| 

inches long : 



Hemispherical lobes, 

5 millimetres. 

4% millimetres. 

Tubercula Quadrigemina, 

2^- jj 

^2 55 


n » 

n 5, 

The two brains could hardly be distinguished from each 
other, except for the fact that the olfactory nerve in the Pro- 
teus runs forward for some distance as a trunk along the inner 
side of the membranous olfactory canal, while in the Triton 
it breaks up into branches immediately on leaving the ante- 
rior extremity of the brain. 

It will be seen that the suppression of the visual organs in 
these animals is not by any means complete. There are, 
however, other creatures existing in the same localities with 
the Proteus, in which the eyes are altogether absent. Two 
species of Crustaceans are found in the caves of Carniola, 
viz., Palcemon anophthalmus and Titanethes albus, both of 
which are colourless, diminutive in size (not more than one 
inch long), and, so far as they have been examined, entirely 
destitute of eyes. They are supposed by some to be the na- 
tural food of the Proteus. I am informed by Mr Kollar, of 
the Vienna Zoological Museum, that a species of spider, en- 
tirely blind, has also been discovered in the same caverns. 

There is much resemblance, in regard to the condition of 
the eyes, between the Proteus and Lepidosiren paradoxa. In 
the two specimens of Lepidosiren dissected by Prof. Bischoff, 
and described by him in a monograph on the subject, the eyes 
were " hardly a line in diameter," though one of the animals 
measured over three feet in length. The opening of the eye- 
lids is wanting, also, in Lepidosiren as in Proteus, and the 
eyeball is completely covered by the integument. So little is 
known, however, of the mode of life of Lepidosiren, that it is 
impossible to determine whether the cause of the imperfec- 
tion be the same in both animals. 

Very little is yet known with regard to the mode of repro- 
duction of the Proteus ; and particularly it is altogether un- 
certain whether the animals are oviparous or viviparous. Dr 
Joseph Hyrtl, Professor of Anatomy at the University of 
Vienna, states that he has found, at the extremitv of the ovi- 


340 Dr Dal ton jun. on the Proteus anguinus. 

duct in the Proteus, a gland which exists elsewhere only in 
the oviparous species of the naked Amphibia ; so that the 
Proteus is probably also oviparous. But nothing more defi- 
nite has been discovered. One German observer (Von 
Schreibers) endeavoured to ascertain this point by examin- 
ing specimens of Proteus, taken from their caverns at every 
season of the year ; but, according to Herr Fitzinger, he only 
succeeded in finding the ovaries unusually developed in a few 
instances. H. Fitzinger himself has met with the ovaries 
in a state of active development in only one instance ; and 
up to the present time, according to him, neither ova nor 
embryos have ever yet been discovered in the oviducts. 

The female generative organs consist of two elongated 
sacciform ovaries, situated at the posterior part of the abdo- 
men, directly in front of the kidneys. In the specimen measur- 
ing 8£ inches total length, in which the generative organs were 
in a state of quiescence, the right ovary was 0-98 of an inch 
long, the left somewhat smaller. The cavity of the organs 
was lined by a mucous membrane, beneath which was to be 
seen the whitish, globular, nearly transparent ova, varying 
in diameter from y^th of an inch downward. The oviducts 
were a pair of slender and perfectly straight tubes, which, 
commencing by a wide aperture at some distance anterior to 
the ovaries, and running down on the outer and posterior as- 
pect of those organs, opened into the cloaca, just above the 
orifices of the ureters. 

In another specimen, however, obtained at the Vienna 
Museum, the organs were in a high state of development. 
The right ovary was 1*75 inches, the left 1*64 inches long ; 
and they contained, together, 66 roundish opaque ova, of a 
deep yellow colour, and evidently just ready to be discharged. 
Their average size was a little less than f th of an inch in di- 
ameter. The oviducts were much larger than in the other 
specimen, and exceedingly contorted, so that they must have 
attained two or three times their ordinary length. None of 
the ova, however, had yet left the ovaries, so that nothing 
new could be learned with regard to the question of viviparity. 
— (American Journal of Science and Art, vol. xv., No. 45, 
2d Series, p. 387.) 


Researches on Granite. By A. Delesse.* 

[From the special study of the granitic rocks of the Vosges 
Mountains, the author has made some generalizations of 
great interest upon the relation of the proportion of silex, 
and of the nature of the mica, to the age of the mass and to 
its circumstances of crystallization, also upon the varieties of 

There are in the Vosges at least two types of granite, dis- 
tinguishable by their mineral ogical constitution and geologi- 
cal position. 

The first is the granite of the Ballons ; it forms the sum- 
mits and the central part of the ridge of the Vosges ; its 
greatest development is between Sainte Marie aux Mines 
and Guebwiller ; it contains quartz, orthose, feldspar of the 
sixth system, dark mica, and sometimes hornblende. 

The quartz is hyaline, and of a gray colour ; it is most 
abundant in the highly crystalline varieties ; those varieties 
which are porphyritic and least crystalline contain little or 
no quartz, the greater part of the silica having remained in 
combination with a feld spathic paste. 

The orthose is the preponderating mineral of this granite. 
It is white or reddish-yellow ; both kinds, containing oxide 
of iron, turn red by alteration ; it sometimes becomes green- 
ish, and by decomposition passes into a halloysite. The or- 
those is the most persistent mineral of this granite ; its crys- 
tals sometimes attain a decimeter in length : the analysis 
of three specimens from different localities gave the follow- 
ing result : — 

SiO 3 . 

A1 2 3 . 

Fe 2 3 . 


















= 9636 





The proportions given in this table differ but slightly from 
each other or from previous determinations ; orthose is then 

* From the Annates des Mines, vol. iii. p. 369. 

342 M. A. Delesse's Researches on Granite. 

a mineral whose composition is very constant, and indepen- 
dent of that of the rock in which it is produced. 

The granite of the Ballons contains also a feldspar of the 
sixth system ; its colour on a fresh fracture is greenish ; it 
is translucent, and has a greasy lustre ; its crystals shew 
parallel striae, which characterize the isomorphous feldspars 
of the sixth system ; it becomes red by atmospheric altera- 
tion, afterwards white, and the mineral passes into kaoline. 
The analysis of it gave the following composition : — 









Voll} »«.. 


Oxide of iron 


Oxide of manganese 




1-412 V, 

Magnesia . 


fSJ 3832 






0-255 J 

Loss by burning 




It contains less of sili 

ca and of alkalies, with more 

of lim 

than oligoclase ; moreover, its atomic proportions of oxygen 
are very nearly that of andesite. This strengthens a remark 
I have made before, that all the feldspars of the sixth system 
are isomorphous, and that their proportions of silica may 
vary indefinitely between that of albite and that ofanorthite. 
This feldspar of the sixth system occurs in the most crystal- 
line granite, and appears also to be especially associated with 

The granite of the Ballons contains but one mica, of a dark 
colour, with sometimes a greenish shade. In the polariscope 
of Amici it shews two optic axes, forming a very small angle. 
Its dominant bases are magnesia and iron : it is affected by 
hydrochloric and sulphuric acids. 

The accidental minerals of this granite are hornblende, 
sphene, zircon. 

It is very little broken or veined. The mean composition 
of some of its varieties are — 

M. A. Delesse's Researches on Granite. 


SiO 3 . 

Al 2 3 . 

Fe 2 O 3 . 



Loss by 





















16-1 | 1-9 

























The loss of silica is replaced by alumina and lime. These 
variations depend very much (as I have proved elsewhere, 
Bull, de la Soc. Geol., 2d Ser., vol. ix., p. 464) upon the posi- 
tion in the mass, the more central and elevated being the 
more siliceous, and upon the nature of the rocks, in junction. 

The second type of granite is the granite of the Vosges. I 
group under this name the varieties which have been called 
common granite, leptynite, and gneiss. 

Its essential minerals are quartz, orthose, feldspar of the 
sixth system, two micas — a dark and a bright. 

The quartz is in grayish-white grains. The orthose is the 
preponderating mineral ; it occurs in minute lamellae or 
grains, the analysis of which gave — 

Silica, .... 


Alumina and traces of peroxide of 



Oxide of manganese, 


Lime, .... 




Soda, .... 


Potash, .... 


Sum, . . 99-04 

The large amount of silica is no doubt due to quartz me- 
chanically mixed. 

Orthose and quartz are found in the most degraded varie- 
ties of this granite. 

The dots indicate that the quantitative determination was not made. 


M. A. Delesse's Researches on Granite. 

The feldspar of the sixth system is rare, and only found in 
the most crystalline varieties. 

The granite of the Vosges, although its grain is fine and 
its mineral generally smaller than those of the porphyritic 
granite, contains no feldspathic paste. Its essential charac- 
ter is to contain two micas, the one dark, the other bright. 
The first is identical with the mica of the Ballons. The 
second is silver-white or violet-gray ; its dominant base is 
potash ; it resists the action of sulphuric and hydrochloric 
acids, and is altogether the same as that I have described be- 
fore as occurring in the veins of pegmatite (Ann. des Mines, 
4th ser., vol. xvi., p. 100). The clear is less abundant than 
the dark mica, and is less uniformly disseminated. 

The accidental minerals are garnet, pinite, and, in the 
schistose varieties, hornblende, graphite, fibrolite. Some mi- 
nerals of subsequent origin are common to the two granites, 
as chlorite, carbonate, and oxides of iron, heavy spar, fluor- 
spar, &c. 

The granite of the Vosges is very much fissured and cut 
up by veins and lodes. Its density is about that of quartz, 
and is less than that of the granite of the Ballons. Its ave- 
rage composition may be computed from the accompanying 
table : for each analysis a large mass of the stone was re- 
duced to powder, and the assay taken from this. 

SiO 3 . 

Al 2 3 . 

Fe 2 3 . 






Loss by 















































... | 1-8 



* The dots shew that the quantitative determination was not made. 

On the Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 345 

The phenomena of the rock veins in the masses of granite 
are rather complicated. 

These veins appear generally to have formed at the time 
of crystallization of the granite ; their great richness in quartz 
favours this opinion, it being the last mineral of the rock to 
remain in a fluid state. 

The granite of the Vosges forms smaller eminences around 
the bosses of the Ballons, and is itself covered by stratified 
rocks, into which it graduates by insensible degrees. The 
granite of the Ballons has evidently penetrated with violence 
into the granite of the Vosges ; this is well seen at Meha- 
champ. In some places the junction of the two is not dis- 

Of these rocks, then, that containing the smaller propor- 
tion of silica and the greater of alumina is the more recent. 

The distinction of two granites in the chain of the Vosges 
is not of mere local interest ; the remark may be extended 
to most granitic regions, of which I will only mention the 
right bank of the Rhine, Normandy, Brittany, Auvergne, Ire- 
land, &c. 

The general application of the above observations shews 
that the same geological phenomena are reproduced after 
long intervals of time and in widely separated districts. It 
is not then surprising that we should find in most granitic 
regions two granites : the one porphyritic, and containing 
but one mica ; the other granular (grenu), and containing 
two micas ; the former being the more recent, and generally 
poorer in silica. 

On the Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 

(Continued from vol. lv., page 106.) 

(A.) Congeneration Lodes are those which bear only the 
same kind of minerals as constitute the adjoining rock. The 
most remarkable are those of granite, and some quartz veins 
in mica and clay slates. It is very probable that such lodes 
or veins do not differ much in date from the rocks which they 
traverse. They do not possess any great importance. 

(B.) Lodes or Veins formed by Lateral Secretion. — The 

34G On the Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 

substances constituting the minerals contained in these lodes 
have been introduced into the fissures from the adjoining rock. 

Lodes which traverse different kinds of rocks are of dif- 
ferent compositions in the parts adjoining those rocks. At 
the Neue Hoffrung Gottes mine, near Freiberg, the lodes are 
richer in ore where they traverse a very quartzy clay- slate 
much impregnated with carbon, while in mica-slate they are 
poorer in ore. At Konigsberg (Sweden) the largest quantity 
of metallic silver is found in the lodes where they intersect 
the so-called " Fallbander" beds, impregnated with argenti- 
ferous pyrites. In the adjoining rock, close to the lodes, the 
silver has been found imbedded, in the form of rhombic dode- 
cahedrons. This form has probably been derived from the 
deposition of the silver in cavities, from which garnets have 
been removed by decomposition. 

Professor Breithaupt states, that it is a general opinion 
among experienced miners, and supported by his own obser- 
vation, that lodes are generally richer in ore where the adjoin- 
ing rock is more or less decomposed. The nature and state of 
the adjoining rock are two of the most significant among the 
conditions of richness of lodes. There are undoubtedly many 
other circumstances of a similar kind, which are, however, 
known only in mining districts. 

It is difficult to perceive in what manner this secretive 
formation of minerals can have taken place, except as the re- 
sult of decomposition in the rocks. It is possible, and indeed 
probable, that in some instances this secretive formation has 
been preceded by an impregnation of the rocks with mineral 
substances erupted or sublimed through the yet vacant fis- 

Some few rocks, especially granite, contain imbedded tin 
ore. The topaz rock and porphyry of Saxony both contain 
tin ore, as perhaps do some kinds of gneiss and mica-slate. 
The tin ore occurs in the rock in such extremely minute par- 
ticles, as to be imperceptible to the eye. It is frequently 
found as a strong impregnation of the rock contiguous to lodes 
which are quite filled, and into which it would appear to have 
been segregated until the fissures were incapable of receiving 

On the Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 347 

any more. This phenomenon is remarkably distinct in the 
" bandzwittern," at iUtenberg (Saxony). The pseudomor- 
phous tin ore, after feldspar, from Cornwall, appears to be of 
interest in connection with this fact. 

Granite ought to be more generally examined for tin ore ; 
for not only is it probable that many granites contain enough 
of the finely-disseminated ore to be worked advantageously, 
but likewise this circumstance may serve as a clue to the dis- 
covery of lodes. Moreover, the presence of beryl, topaz, 
wolframite, &c, should not be overlooked, as these minerals 
are frequent associates of tin ore. 

Professor Breithaupt is inclined to doubt the existence of 
beds of tin ore. The deposits of this ore in the granite of 
Zinnwald, which have been regarded as beds, certainly present 
some such appearance. But those which make but a very 
small angle with the horizon are intersected by a true lode, 
possessing in every respect similar characters. The loose 
fragments and the masses of fractured quartz crystals, ce- 
mented together by subsequently-formed quartz found in 
these deposits, render it probable that they are true lodes, 
which, together with the rocks, have suffered such an altera- 
tion of position as to become more or less horizontal. 

It has already been stated, that many minerals occur, both 
imbedded in rocks and upon lodes, and they perhaps furnish 
the strongest evidence of lateral secretion. 

The extraction of certain constituents of the lode minerals 
from the adjoining rocks would appear to have been more 
easy in schistose and stratified rocks, on account of their 
structure, than in the massive rocks, — granite, syenite, por- 
phyry, &c. It is perhaps for this reason that lodes are more 
frequent and richer in such rocks. Tin lodes are more fre- 
quent in the schistose than in the massive rocks. Both gra- 
nite and the older gneiss have probably originated from the 
same primitive mass, but no disseminated tin ore has ever 
been found in either mica or clay slates, although it may 
have been present in those instances where it occurs in lodes 
in these rocks. Lodes which do not bear tin ore are still 
more rare in massive rocks. However, it must not be in- 
ferred from this that all tin ore has been formed by lateral 

318 On the Paragenetlc Relations of Minerals. 

secretion. There are, indeed, circumstances which render 
it probable that it has been introduced into the fissures from 
below. And again there is no reason for assuming that tin 
is not one of those elements which may have remained at a 
considerable depth below the surface during the formation of 
the earlier rocks. 

(C.) Lodes formed by Eruption. — Three different modes 
of eruption must be admitted in any general theory of 
these lodes : 1. The eruption of melted or at least pasty 
masses ; 2. The eruption of solutions ; 3. Sublimation. Lodes 
which have originated in the first of these modes do not 
present the peculiar banded structure observed in most 
others. Springs upon lodes are by no means uncommon, 
and most of the true mineral springs of any particular dis- 
trict are so situated, that their origin from a lode of some 
kind is very probable. The formation of lodes by sublima- 
tion may sometimes be observed at the present day on vol- 
canic mountains. Thus, for instance, during an eruption of 
Vesuvius in 1817, a fissure of more than three feet diameter 
was filled within the space of ten days with specular iron ore, 
deposited from the vapour of chloride of iron evolved. The 
lodes of red hematite in the Upper Erzgebirge may have ori- 
ginated in a similar manner, although more slowly. 

Manganese lodes are perhaps likewise deposits from super- 
fluoride or chloride of manganese. Silica and the few sili- 
cates may have been introduced by aqueous vapour. Bischof 
is of opinion that metallic silver has originated from silver 
glance by the abstraction of sulphur by steam. 

The principal grounds for the ascension theory are, — 1. 
The minerals of lodes are chiefly such as in a chemical point 
of view can only have been formed in the wet way ; but, to 
judge from their constituents, are neither products of surface- 
water or of the extraction of the adjoining rocks. 2. Certain 
minerals are not unfrequently found in druses of the lodes 
covering or implanted upon the underneath surfaces of crys- 
tals. Thus, for example, at Lobenstein the rhombohedrons 
of spathic iron have a double covering ; that on the under 
surfaces being clear acicular quartz ; that on the upper sur- 
faces clay, and these latter, when washed, have a less brilliant 

On the Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 349 

lustre than the under ones. At Nagyag (Transylvania) me- 
tallic arsenic sits only upon the lower surfaces of rose spar. 
3. Lodes are generally larger and richer in ore the greater 
the depth. 4. Lodes which do not crop out can only have 
been derived from the earth's interior. 5. Fragments of 
rock torn from the saalbands are found above the places from 
which they have been broken. 6. Sublimed substances must 
have come from the interior. 7. Substances have been in- 
troduced from the lodes into the adjoining rock, sometimes in 
considerable masses, which appear quite foreign to it. 8. Even 
the very frequent banded structure of lodes indicates their 
origin from below. 

It cannot be doubted that in many instances some of the 
constituents of minerals in lodes have been derived from the 
surface. This is strikingly evident with regard to the phos- 
phates, many of which are hydrated, and occur in the upper 
parts of lodes. Pyromorphite occurs only in the upper parts 
of galena lodes. Iu 1813, it was found, in working the Bei- 
hilfe mine (Freiberg) close under the grass in masses of several 
hundredweight. This mineral has in every instance origi- 
nated from the alteration of galena. Wavellite and peganite, 
both hydrated phosphates of alumina, occur close to the sur- 
face in lodes in siliceous slate sandstone atZbirow (Bohemia), 
Freiberg ; the former mineral alone at Giessen, Barnstaple, 
St Austle, and in Tipperary. They are not known to occur 
at any great depth. At Langenstriegis, near Freiberg, the 
lode was purposely followed downwards for some distance, 
and the phosphates soon disappeared; while, by working 
along the surface, wavellite was again found, together with 
a conglomerate of siliceous slate fragments cemented toge- 
ther with wavellite. Herder likewise found peganite in a soft 
state, shewing that these minerals were of very recent forma- 
tion. It is said that there was formerly a skin yard upon 
the spot. 

Turquoise or kalaite — consisting essentially of phosphate 
of alumina — occurs in the East, and in Silesia and Saxony 
only at the surface. Varizite likewise occurs in the same 
manner. Kraurite, hydrated phosphate of iron, has been found 
upon quartz and brown iron ore a few feet below the surface, 

350 On the Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 

in the " Hoff auf mich" mine at Gbritz and other places. 
Uranite has been found at the surface upon narrow granite 
dikes near Schneeberg ; and other minerals containing phos- 
phoric acid — as kakoxen, beraunite, stilpnosiderite, sorda- 
walite, and vivianite, &c. — occur in the same manner. The 
same holds good with regard to the cupreous phosphates. 

Taking all these circumstances together, it is hardly pos- 
sible to form any other inference than that the minerals in 
question, or at least the phosphoric acid they contain, origi- 
nates from the surface, and in all probability from the decom- 
position of organic substances. 

It must not, at the same time, be forgotten that apatite — 
the most frequent of the phosphatic minerals — occurs as an 
original constituent of granite, syenite, nephelin rock, and 
in tin lodes and primitive limestone. This phosphate cannot 
be regarded as similar, in respect to its formation, to the 
above-mentioned minerals, and it is also singular that they 
are not found in rocks containing apatite. 

It is possible that the chlorine of horn-silver has been de- 
rived from the surfaces, for this mineral is found only in the 
upper parts of lodes. 

General and partial alteration of lode minerals, aud the products 
resulting therefrom. 

The alterations in mineral veins, although on a smaller 
scale than in the rocks, are much more frequent and remark- 
able. It is not from the rarer pseudomorphs that these alte- 
rations mustbe inferred; whole generations of lode substances 
have disappeared. Lodes containing heavy spar, fluorspar, 
and calcspar, have been entirely destroyed ; and their former 
existence is indicated only by the pseudomorphic substances 
bearing their form. The chemical elements of some lodes 
have in part remained, but the sulphurets have been converted 
into oxides, hydrated oxides, or oxy salts, &c. There are even 
regenerated minerals. 

There is scarcely a single lode formation which does not 
present some products of alteration. 

It cannot be doubted that water has in many instances 

On the Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 351 

stood for a long time in lodes. Its decomposition in contact 
with sulphurets, especially iron pyrites, gives rise to the 
formation of sulphuretted hydrogen, and hydrated or anhy- 
drous peroxides of iron. Entire lodes of iron pyrites have 
thus been converted into brown haematite. Copper pyrites, 
and its associates, gray copper, variegated pyrites, redruthite, 
&c, have been converted into red copper, copper pechertz, 
tile ore, and, when carbonic acid had access, into malachite, 
copper lazure, &c. 

It is not improbable that metallic silver may have been 
produced from argentine, as well as from polybasite, by the 
action of hot aqueous vapours. 

Fragments of spathose iron in the refuse heaps of mines 
are often found to have become quite brown, and entirely 
converted into hydrated peroxide. The same change is shewn 
to take place in lodes by the pseudomorphous peroxide in 

Partial abstraction of metal may frequently give rise to 
the formation of higher sulphurets. Some of the lodes at 
Freiberg not unfrequently bear pseudomorphous hepatic, 
pyrites, iron pyrites, and mispickel, in the form of magnetic 
pyrites, which is itself very rare in the same lodes. Analo- 
gous lodes, however, at Drehbach, contain large masses of 
magnetic pyrites, associated, as at other places, with galena 
and calcite. Perfect crystals of magnetic pyrites, presenting 
exactly the same characters as the pseudomorphs at Frei- 
berg, occur in lodes of the same formation in Stranitza (Tran- 
sylvania). When it is remembered that in some places con- 
siderable quantities of magnetic pyrites occur in lodes, it is 
not at all improbable that the greater part of the iron pyrites 
in the Freiberg lodes was formerly magnetic pyrites. More- 
over, iron pyrites, when associated with magnetic pyrites, is 
always the more recent, and this view is likewise in accord- 
ance with the fact that iron pyrites occurs upon copper pyrites. 

Exhalations of sulphuretted hydrogen have undoubtedly 
caused a regeneration of altered minerals. The filamentous 
silver is found reconverted into sulphuret of silver, and con- 
taining a nucleus of this metal. Pyromorphite formed from 

352 On the Paragenetic -Relations of Minerals. 

galena is found covered with a crust of galena, in small in- 
dividuals, such as are never found elsewhere, and more fre- 
quently entirely converted into galena, while its form is re- 
tained (Blaubleiertz). 

The entire removal of the minerals, such as is observed at 
Gbpersgrun is certainly one of the most remarkable pheno- 
mena known. Steatite occurs here in the form of quartz, 
fluorspar, a carbonate, and a nodular mineral, perhaps kalk- 
schwerspath, which formerly constituted the lode. Every 
trace of silica, carbonate, &c, has disappeared, and silicate 
of magnesia is found in their place. The silica of the quartz 
and the magnesia of the carbonate cannot have contributed 
much to the immense masses of steatite. This change has 
most probably been very gradual, and may have been caused 
by springs containing silica and magnesia. 

There are certainly changes observable in lodes which 
cannot be explained on known chemical principles. Time 
appears almost without question to have exercised a most 
important influence in their production ; and there can be no 
doubt that chemical processes are continually going on in 
the mineral masses which constitute our globe, so gradual 
in their action as to be imperceptible, and perhaps even un- 
suspected by the chemist, but whose results are, in point of 
magnitude, out of all comparison with such as he is able to 
observe and set in action in his laboratory. 
(To be continued in our next.) 

Anniversary Address to the Ethnological Society of London. 
By Sir Benjamin C. Brodie, Bart. 

Mankind, scattered as they are over the entire surface of 
the globe ; located among the perpetual snows of the Arctic 
regions, and in the perpetual summer of the Equator ; on 
mountains and in forests ; in fertile valleys and in deserts ; 
in lands of rain and tempests ; and in those which are never 
or rarely blessed by descending showers — are presented to 

to the Ethnological Society of London. 353 

us under a vast variety of aspects, differing from each other, 
not only as to their external form, but also as to their moral 
qualities and intellectual capacities. The first question which 
presents itself to him who is entering on that extensive field 
of observation which Ethnology affords is, Do these beings, 
apparently so different from each other, really belong to one 
and the same family? are they descended from one common 
stock ? or are they to be considered as different genera and 
species, descended from different stocks, and the result of 
distinct and separate creations 1 Those to whose opinions 
on the subject we may refer with the greatest confidence — 
among whom I may more especially mention our own coun- 
trymen, Mr Lawrence, Dr Prichard, and Dr Latham — have 
come to the conclusion that the different human races are but 
varieties of a single species ; and without entering into all 
the arguments which have been adduced by these philosophers, 
I may observe that there are many facts which seem, as it 
were, to lie on the surface, and which are obvious to us all, 
that may lead us to believe that this conclusion is well founded. 

Although we justly regard the intellectual faculties as of a 
higher order than those which belong to mere animal life ; 
although it is as to these alone that mankind " propius acce- 
dunt ad Deos ;" yet it must be admitted that up to a certain 
point, and within its own domain, instinct is a more unerring 
guide than human reason. And what is but instinct which 
leads us at once to recognise the Esquimaux, the Negro, the 
Hottentot, as belonging to the same order of beings with 
ourselves, with as little hesitation as the greyhound, the 
spaniel, the mastiff, mutually recognise each other as being 
of the same kindred ? 

Then be it observed, that, however different may be the 
external figure, the shape of the head and limbs, there is no 
real difference as to the more important parts of the system, 
namely, the brain, the organs of sense, the thoracic and ab- 
dominal viscera ; and the medical student is aware that he 
obtains all the knowledge which he requires just as well from 
the dissection of the Negro or the Lascar as from that of the 
Anglo-Saxon or the Celt. Even as to the skeleton, the dif- 
ference is more apparent than real : there is the same num- 

VOL. LV. NO. CX. — OCTOBER 1853. Z 

35-1 Sir Benjamin C. Brodie's Anniversary Address 

ber, term, and arrangement of the bones ; and I may add, 
tli ere is the same number, form, and arrangement of the 

Pursuing the inquiry further still, we find that the dif- 
ferent sexes are mutually attracted to each other; that their 
union is prolific ; that the period of gestation in the female 
is the same in all ; and that — unlike what happens as to hy- 
brid animals — instead of stopping short after one or two 
generations, their offspring continues to be prolific ever after- 

Nor is there any thing difficult to understand, nor con- 
trary to the analogy of what happens among other animals, 
in the production of the different varieties of mankind. The 
Hottentot and the Anglo-Saxon have a closer resemblance 
to each other than the mastiff and the spaniel. How dif- 
ferent is the Leicestershire from the Southdown breed of 
sheep ; and the English dray-horse from the thorough-bred 
Arabian ! We see these changes actually going on, nay, we 
actually produce them artificially among our domesticated 
animals ; and we see them taking place, to a certain extent, 
even in our own species. The Negroes, taken from on board 
the captured slave ships and transported to Jamaica, have a 
different aspect from those who have been for some genera- 
tions domesticated in the service of the planters. The de- 
scendants of the Anglo-Saxon race transplanted, within the 
last two centuries, to other regions of the globe, are already 
beginning to be distinguishable from those who remain in the 
parent country by their external appearance, and, even to a 
greater extent, by their characters and habits. It was ob- 
served to me by a gentleman who has served his country in 
important official situations in Europe and on the other side 
of the Atlantic ocean, that if, in going from England to Italy, 
he was struck with the comparative passiveness of the 
Italians, on returning to England from America he found 
something still more remarkable in the passiveness of the 
English compared with the excitement and activity observ- 
able among the citizens of the United States. If in the pre- 
sent condition of the world, when there is so free an inter- 
course among its inhabitants, and so constant an intermixture 

to the Ethnological Society of London. 355 

of races, such changes are to a certain extent going on, it is 
easy to conceive that changes still more remarkable might 
have taken place when human society was in its infancy ; 
when nations were separated by impassable seas and moun- 
tains ; when there was nothing to interfere with the influence 
of climate, food, and mode of life on the physical and moral 
character ; and when repeated intermarriages among indi- 
viduals of the same tribe were favourable to the transmission 
of accidental peculiarities of structure to succeeding genera- 

There was a period when a jealousy prevailed of studies such 
as those of the Geologist and Ethnologist, from a supposition 
that they in some degree tended to contradict the revelations 
of the earliest of our sacred volumes. The advancement of 
knowledge has shewn that such jealousy was without any 
just foundation ; and those who on such narrow grounds stand 
aloof from the pursuits of science are now reduced to a small 
and almost unnoticed minority. It is, however, satisfactory 
to find that the inquiries of the Ethnologist, so far from being 
opposed to, actually offer a strong confirmation of, the Mosaic 
records as to the origin of mankind having been from one 
parent stock, and not from different creations. 

" The noblest study of mankind is man." 

So says one of our greatest moralists and poets ; and if we 
estimate them according to the rule which is here laid down, 
it must be admitted that inquiries into the physical, intellec- 
tual, and moral character of the various human races ought 
to hold a high rank among the sciences which claim the at- 
tention of the philosopher. Standing, as it were, midway be- 
tween the physical and the moral sciences, Ethnology is not 
less interesting to the Naturalist than to the Metaphysician; 
and not less so to the Metaphysician than to the Philologist. 
To trace the influence of climate, of food, of government, and 
of a multitude of other circumstances on the corporeal sys- 
tem, on the intellect, the instincts, and the moral sentiments, 
is the business of the Ethnologist : nor is it less in his de- 
partment to trace the origin and the construction of language 
generally, and the relation of different languages to each 

z 2 

356 Sir Benjamin C. Brodie's Anniversary Address 

other. Infused into it, Ethnology gives a more philosopi- 
cal character to history ; adding to the dry and often painful 
detail of political events occurring in a particular country 
another serious of facts, which present to us the whole of the 
human inhabitants of the globe as one large family, consti- 
tuting one great system, advancing together towards the ful- 
filment of one great purpose of the Creator. 

But in this utilitarian age there are, I doubt not, some 
who regard Ethnology as offering matter for curious specula- 
lation, but as being in no degree worthy of a place among 
those sciences which admit of a direct and practical applica- 
tion to the wants of society and the ordinary business of life. 
It is, indeed, with some among us too much the custom to 
measure things by this low standard, and to forget that what- 
ever adds to our stores of knowledge, and gives us broader 
views of the universe, tends to the improvement of the intel- 
lect, the elevation of the moral sentiments, and thus leads to 
a more complete development of those qualities by which the 
human species is justly proud of being distinguished from 
the inferior parts of the animal creation. The practical 
genius of the English is essentially different from the 
genius of the ancient Greeks ; but no one can hesitate to 
believe that the philosophers, the poets, the architects, the 
sculptors, who form the glory of that wonderful people, are 
even now exercising a most beneficial influence on the cha- 
racter of mankind, after the lapse of more than 2000 years. 
Setting aside, however, these considerations, and admitting 
that it affords us no assistance in the construction of steam- 
engines or railways ; that it is of no direct use in agriculture 
or manufactures ; still it may be truly said, that, even accord- 
ing to his own estimate of things, the most thorough utili- 
tarian who looks beyond the present moment will find that 
there is no science more worthy of cultivation than Ethno- 
logy. Is there any thing more important than the duties of 
a statesman ? and can there be any more mischievous error 
than that of applying to one variety of the human species a 
mode of government which is fitted only for another \ Yet 
how often, and even in our own times, from a want of the 
necessary knowledge and foresight on the part of those to 

to the Ethnological Society of London. 357 

whom the affairs of nations are entrusted, has this error 
been committed. Even within the narrow limits of our own 
island, there are two races having each of them their pecu- 
liar character. But the British empire extends over the whole 
globe. It comes in contact with the descendants of the 
French in Canada ; with the Red Indians of America ; with 
the Negroes of Sierra Leone and Jamaica ; with the Caffres 
and Hottentots of South Africa ; with the manly, warlike, and 
intelligent inhabitants of New Zealand ; with the rude Abo- 
rigines of Australia; with the Malays, the Hindoos, the 
Mussulmans, the Parsees, the Chinese in the East — races 
differing widely from ourselves, and not less widely from each 
other. Surely much advantage would arise, and many mis- 
takes might be avoided, if those who have the superinten- 
dence and direction of the numerous colonies and depen- 
dencies of the British crown would condescend to qualify 
themselves for the task which they have undertaken by study- 
ing the peculiarities of these various races, and by seeking 
that information on these subjects which Ethnology affords. 
This Society is yet in its infancy. But those who have 
attended its meetings will bear testimony to the value of the 
written communications which have been made to it during 
the present Session, and of the discussions to which these 
communications have led. Seeing how much has been al- 
ready accomplished, and the zeal which exists among its 
members, I am, I conceive, not too sanguine in my expecta- 
tions, when I anticipate that the Ethnological Society will 
from year to year advance in reputation and usefulness ; and 
that the time is not far off when its labours, and the objects 
which it has in view, being justly appreciated by the public, 
it will be ranked among the most important Scientific Insti- 
tutions of the age. 




1. Native Metallic Iron. — Dr Andrews, in an examination into 
the minute structure of basalt, has found evidence of the existence of 
iron in a native state. After pulverizing the rock, and separating 
with a magnet the grains that were attracted by it, he subjected 
these grains, which were mostly magnetic iron, to the action of an 
acid solution of sulphate of copper in the field of a microscope. 

This salt produces no change with the oxide, but if a trace of 
pure iron be present, copper is deposited. In his trials there were 
occasional deposits of copper in crystalline bunches ; the largest of 
which obtained was little more than one-fiftieth of an inch in diame- 
ter. He observes that with 100 grains of the rock, three or four de- 
posits of copper can usually be obtained. The basalt of the Giant's 
Causeway affords this evidence of the presence of native iron, but 
less so than the Slievemish basalt. 

The same result would be produced, if the nickel or cobalt were 
present in fine grains ; but Dr Andrews considers this very impro- 
bable. The same basalt afforded, on microscopic examination, 
augite, magnetic iron, pyrites, and a colourless glassy mineral. — 
(American Journal of Science and Arts, vol. xv., No. 45, 2d 
Series, p. 443.) 

2. On Glauberite from South Peru ; by M. Ulex. (Leon- 
hard u. Bronn's N. Jahrb. f. Min. u.s.w., 1851, p. 204 ; and 
Woehl. u. Lieb. Ann., vol. lxx., p. 51 et seq.~) — The Brongniartin 
or Glauberite occurs in crystals imbedded in nodular masses of a 
substance called " Tizza," which the author recognised as a bo- 
racic compound. According to Frankenheim the crystals, attain- 
ing a size from 1 to 1 \ inch (German), differ from those of Brong- 
niartin previously known in their angles, but slightly however ; 
the form also somewhat differs. Sometimes the crystals appear 
perfect and transparent, sometimes white and laminated, the fis- 
sures being occupied by the above-mentioned substance. Spec, 
grav. = 2 64 ; hardness = 2*5 — 3-0. Its behaviour in the alembic 
and before the blow-pipe, is like that of the Spanish Brongniartin. 
An analysis gave — 

Lime, . . . . . . 19 6 

Soda, 21-9 

Sulphuric acid, .... 55'0 

Boracic acid, . . . . 3*5 

Formula : NAS + S + Ca S. 

The presence of borax is no doubt due to the admixture of the 

Scientific Intelligence — Mineralogy. 359 

mineral substance in which the crystals are imbedded — {Quarterly 
Journal of the Geol. Society, vol. ix., No. 35, p. 24.) 

3. On the Structure of Agate ; by Theodore Giimbel. [Leon- 
hard u. Bronn's N. Jahrb. f. Min., u.s.w., 1853, pp. 152-157.) 
— The curious and beautiful appearances afforded by agates have 
long made them of primary importance in mineralogical cabinets ; 
but until of late years particular attention does not seem to have been 
paid to the internal structure of these bodies. Dr J. Zimmerman 
is the first, of my knowledge, who observed* that the different va- 
rieties of quartz — as amethyst, calcedony, carnelian, jasper — formed 
the concentric layers of the nodules, which were either hollow or 
occupied with crystals, f 

In the Jahrbuch of the Imperial Geological Institute of Vienna 
for 1851, J is a very interesting memoir on the interior structure of 
agates by Prof. Dr Franz Leydolt, where he states that, on being 
submitted to the action of fluoric acid, the amorphous portions are 
dissolved before the crystalline layers or bands; and the agate 
surface being thus prepared, it is made use of in printing an exact 
copy of itself. The six beautiful plates accompanying the memoir 
perfectly exemplify Prof. Leydolt's views, and shew, — first, that 
the parts towards the outer surface consist of several spherules 
variously combined, which are composed of layers of diverse cha- 
racter ; secondly, that towards the centre of the nodule is a large 
mass of amethystine quartz, the nucleus of the latter again being 
formed of very small concentric spherules. 

In the Jahrbuch fur Praktische Pharmazie, Sc. 1852, is a short 
paper of mine on the rotatory motion of matter in the amorphous 
condition, in which I have shewn, that in a sphere of blown glass 
the material is not homogeneous, but consists of lamellae overlying 
one another at varying angles and confusedly distorted. As in 
the thin pellicle of blown glass the intimate structure of the soap 
bubble is as it were fixed, so I sought to make further researches by 
means of experiment on molecular movement, such as can be ob- 
served in so many instances. One of the most successful experi- 
ments was the use of melted stearine with which very fine graphite 
had been mixed, spangles of which easily indicated the intimate 
motion of the mass. By this easy experiment it appears that in 
some parts there was a strong tendency to the formation of spheres, 
and which existed even in the interior of the larger spheres, giving 
rise to smaller spherules. — {Quarterly Journal of the Geological 
Society, vol. ix., No. 35, p. 259.) 

4. Scleretinite, a new Fossil Resin from the coal measures of 
Wigan, England ; by J. W. Mallet. — Occurs in small drops or tears 
from the size of a pea to that of a hazel nut. Brittle, with the 

* In his Taschenbuch fur Mineralogie. 

t See also Mr Hamilton's Paper on the Agate Quarries of Oberstein, Quart. 
Journ. Geol. Soc, vol. iv., p. 215. — Transl. 
| Vol. ii. No. 2, p. 124. 

860 Scien tijic In telligenci — Mineralogy. 

fracture conchoidal. Translucent in thin splinters. Colour black, but 
by transmitted light reddish-brown : streak cinnamon-brown, lustre 
between vitreous and resinous, rather brilliant — G. = 1*136, H. = 3. 
Heated on platinum foil it swells up, burns like pitch, with a 
disagreeable empyreumatic smell, and a smoky flame, leaving a coal 
rather difficult to burn, and finally a little gray ash. In a glass 
tube, yields a yellowish-brown oily product of a nauseous empyreu- 
matic odour. Insoluble in water, alcohol, ether, caustic, and car- 
bonated alkalies or dilute acids ; and even strong nitric acid acts 
slowly. Composition — 

Carbon. Hydrogen. Oxygen. Ash. 

1. 76-74 8-86 10-72 3-68 

2. 77*15 9-05 10-12 3-68 

Affording the ratio CIO H 7 = carbon 77*05, hydrogen 8-99, 
oxygen 10-28, ash 3*68. Taking the number of atoms of car- 
bon at 40, which exist in so many resins, the formula becomes 
C 40 II 28 O 4. It is nearest in composition to amber, which con- 
tains C 40 H 32 O 4. — (American Journal of Science and Arts, 
vol. xv., p. 433.) 

5. On Pseudomorphous Crystals of Chloride of Sodium; by 
G. Wareing Omerod, M.A., F.G.S. — In a paper read before this 
Society, on 1st December 1852, by Mr Strickland, on pseudomor- 
phous crystals of chloride of sodium in Keuper Sandstone,* no re- 
ference is made to prior .observations on the same point. In my 
paper " On the Principal Geological Features of the Salt-field of 
Cheshire,"-)* it is stated that " the Waterstone beds (a subdivision 
of the Keuper) at Holmes Chapel have the same peculiar crystal 
as those at Lymm, Preston on the Hill, and elsewhere ; " and in a 
note it is added, " At this place the crystals are of silicate of prot- 
oxide of iron. This seeming crystal is probably caused by the 
component matter taking the places of scattered crystals of chloride 
of sodium, the form of which, both in Cheshire and at Slime Road 
in Gloucestershire, they have taken, exhibiting, if so, the lowest 
traces of the salt." To Mr Crace Calvert (Honorary Professor of 
Chemistry at the Royal Manchester Institution) I was indebted for 
the examination of this specimen ; and to him any credit for the 
discovery, as far as relates to Cheshire, is due, he having, on my 
shewing him the specimens, stated his opinion that the crystals 
were Pseudomorphic Chloride of Sodium. I had omitted to ask 
his permission to allow me to mention his name when my paper 
was read, and it was therefore not then given. This paper was 
read before the Geological Society 8th March 1848, when specimens 
were exhibited and a discussion took place, when Professor Buck- 
land mentioned many localities in which he had observed this 
pseudomorph, for which he had not hitherto been able to account. 

* Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc. vol. ix., p. 5. t Ibid. vol. iv., p. 273. 

Scientific Intelligence — Mineralogy. 361 

In July 1850 the Government Reports of the Natural History 
of the State of New York were sent over as a donation to the Free 
Library and Museum of the borough of Salford ; and shortly after- 
wards, on examining the geological division of that work, I found 
that the same peculiar crystal had been observed in the district 
lying to the south of Lake Ontario. In Part III., pages 102 and 
103, Mr Lardner Vanuxem notices them thus : — " Hopper-shaped 
cavities, Onondaga Salt Group. These forms and cavities are of 
great importance, for they were produced by common salt, no other 
common soluble mineral presenting similar ones. They are found 
in the gypseous shale or marl in its more solid and slaty parts." 
A drawing is given of specimens (from Bull's Quarry, town of 
Lenox, Madison county) in which the pseudomorphs resemble 
those found in Cheshire and Gloucestershire which have come 
under my notice. 

In Part IV., page 127, Mr James Hall mentions that similar 
crystals were found in Wayne and Monroe counties, but that he 
had rarely observed them in Genessee or Erie counties, the most 
perfect which he had seen being at Garbutt's Mill on Allen's Creek. 
Part III. was published in 1842, and Part IV. in 1843. 

In making those observations, I must not be understood as in 
any way attempting to take from Mr Strickland the credit of a dis- 
covery ; before he directed special notice to it, the matter was only 
incidentally mentioned, and he was doubtless quite as much un- 
aware that it had been noticed before, as Professor Calvert or my- 
self were. My object has been to direct attention to this matter as 
shewing the great extent of country in which this singular crystal 
is found. The observations of Mr Strickland and myself shew 
that it is found in the Keuper sandstone through a considerable 
portion of Gloucestershire, and I have noticed its frequent occur- 
rence in Cheshire; Professor Phillips has found it in Worcester- 
shire, and Dr Percy in Nottinghamshire. The observations of 
Messrs Vanuxem and Hall shew the existence of a similar pseudo- 
morph in North America, in the district to the south of Lake On- 
tario, extending from Erie county through Genessee, Monroe, and 
Wayne to Madison county. There, however, these crystals are 
found in the Onondaga salt group, belonging to the upper Silurian 

6. Note on the occurrence of similar Crystals; by W. W. 
Smyth, Esq., F.G.S. — The presence of pseudomorphous crystals, 
similar to the above mentioned, in several divisions of the trias, has 
long attracted notice on the Continent, and has been detected at 
very numerous points scattered over a large proportion of Northern 
Germany. In Leonhard and Bronn's Journal for 1847, Gutber- 
let has devoted an elaborate paper to the description and geo- 
logical discussion of those more particularly which occur in beds 
of variegated marls between the Bunter sandstein and the Mus- 

362 Scientific Intelligence — Mineralogy. 

chelkalk. They have also been described by DrDunker as occur- 
ring in the Wcalden of Germany ; by Braun, in the marl-slate of 
the Zechstein near Frankenberg ; and by others, in the tertiaries 
of Austria and of the south of France. 

In all these different localities the u hopper-shaped " crystals 
(or cubes with hopper-shaped impressions) are the most frequent, 
and are the same forms of salt which are produced by gradual 
evaporation, whether in salt-pans or on a sea-shore. The materials 
of which these pseudomorphs are constituted vary with the com- 
position of the adjacent rocks, and are, in different localities, marly 
limestone, dolomitic marl, gypsum, quartz (more or less pure), 
sandstones of many kinds, mica, and brown spar, the last two 
often disposed only round the edges. In the first-mentioned paper, 
and in some by Hausmann and Nbggerath on the same subject, 
will be found much valuable and suggestive matter connected 
with both the chemical and geological aspect of the subject. — 
(Quarterly Journal^ of the Geological Society, vol. ix., No. 35, 
p. 187.) 

7. On Matlockite ; by C. Rammelsberg. (Leonhard u. Brown's 
N. Jahrb. f. Min. u.s.w., 1853, p. 173 ; Poggend. Annal., 
lxxxv., p. 141 et seq.) — The new mineral, Matlockite, is very 
similar in external appearance to Corneous lead (murio-car- 
bonate of lead, Blei-hornerz), and, together with the latter, it has 
been found associated with earthy galena, at the deserted 
Cromford mine, near Matlock. Both are very rare. 

Compact fragments of the Murio-carbonate are transparent, 
colourless or yellowish, lustrous, and pretty generally cleavable in 
three directions at right angles to each other. Brooke* and Krug 
von NiddaJ describe the crystals of this mineral. Rammelsberg 
found its specific gravity to be 6*305. In powder it was in some 
degree decomposed even by cold water, chlorite of lead being set 
free. Its analysis is given below. 

In Matlockite a single but very perfect plane of cleavage has 
been observed. This mineral has been recognized as a basal chlo- 
ride of lead. The specific quantity of the powder is 5*3947. Its 
analysis is — 

Matlockite. Blei-hornerz. 

Chlorine . . 14-12) ,,„, Carbonic acid . 7"99 

Lead . . . 41-50 J Oxide of lead . 40-46 

Lead . . . 41-50 \ .. ™ Chlorine . . 12-97 

Oxygen . . 2-88 ] 44 6 * Lead . . . 37'96 

100-00 99-38 

— (Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, vol. ix., No. 35, 
p. 24.) 

* Poggendorfs Annalen, xlii., p. 582. 

% Zeitschrift d. Poustch. Geol. Gesellschaft, vol ii., p. 126. 

Scientific Intelligence — Geology. 363 


8. On the Structural Characters of Rocks ; by Dr Fleming. — 
While the condition of the mineral masses in the neighbourhood 
of Edinburgh furnish interesting illustrations of the structural cha- 
racters of rocks, such as the columnar, the concretionary, and the 
fragmentary, &c, the author proposed to confine his remarks at 
present to what he denominated the Flawed Structure. 

In the ordinary language of quarriers, the flaws are termed backs, 
while they are known to masons as dries, and to geologists, when 
referred to, as slicken-sides. This last term, independent of its 
provincial character, refers to one peculiar form of the flaw only, 
and, although explicable according to the same views entertained 
respecting the origin of the others, is far from being a typical form. 
The flaw of the lapidary, in reference to crystals or gems, comes 
sufficiently near in character to justify its adoption. 

The Flaw is a crack which is confined to the stratum or bed in 
which it occurs, and is thus distinguished from fault or dislocation, 
since these extend through several beds. It occupies all positions 
in the bed, without an approach to parallelism, the flaws being 
variously inclined to one another, and not extending continuously 
throughout the thickness of the bed ; thus differing from the colum- 
nar structure. 

These flaws are sometimes isolated ; in other cases two unite at 
angles more or less acute, and the junction edges are either sharp 
or rounded. The surface of the sides of the flaw is frequently 
crumpled or waved, and in the granularly-constituted beds, such 
as granite, porphyry, or sandstone, is rough, while in slate-clay, 
bituminous shale, and steatite, it often exhibits a specular polish. 

The circumstance of the flaws exhibiting no approach to paral- 
lelism, joined to the fact that they are not prolonged into the in- 
ferior or superior beds, nay, frequently not extending throughout 
the bed containing them, furnish a demonstration that they were 
not produced by an external force. The notion, too, is untenable, 
that the polishing was produced by the faces of the flaw sliding 
backwards and forwards on one another, because their limited ex- 
tent, mode of junction, and waved surfaces clearly indicate the ab- 
sence of any such alternate shifting. 

The author then stated his opinion that the flaws had been pro- 
duced by shrinkage, owing to the escape of volatile matter, aided 
by molecular aggregation, and that the polished surfaces were pro- 
duced in comparatively soft plastic matter, like bituminous shale, 
by the presence of water or gas in the cavity, so that the specular 
character was the casting or impression of a liquid surface. The 
empty vesicles of amygdaloid are occasionally found glossy on the 
walls, or exhibiting an apparently vitrin:d film, while the rock it- 
self is dull and earthy in fracture. The smoothness in this in- 

3(U Scientific Intelligence — Geology. 

stance is probably produced as the casting or impress of included 
vapour or gas. Sometimes the flaws in coarse materials, such as 
porphyry, have a specular aspect, owing to a film of anhydrous 
peroxide of iron. Illustrative examples were exhibited, and refer- 
ences made to various localities around Edinburgh, where the 
whole phenomena offlaiued structure were well displayed. 

In proceeding to consider still farther the physiology of rocks, 
Dr Fleming proposed in the second part of his communication to 
confine himself to the illustration of — 

1st, The Columnar Structure. — After enumerating examples of 
this structure, as occurring in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, 
in candle coal, sandstone, clay, ironstone, clinkstone, claystone, 
greenstone, and basalt, he exhibited examples of similar appear- 
ances in oven soles and fragments of the walls of vitrified forts. 
The ordinary explanation of this structure as the result of cooling 
from a state of fusion he pointed out as unsatisfactory, even in 
the case of basaltic pillars, and inapplicable to similar appear- 
ances as occurring in sedimentary rocks. He considered the 
whole phenomena explicable as connected with one cause, viz., 
shrinkage, arising from the escape of aqueous or volatile mat- 

2d, The Cone in Cone Structure. — Examples of this structure 
occur in impure ferruginous limestone at Joppa, the Water of 
Leith, and other places, in connection with the coal measures. 
Dr Fleming referred the origin of this structure to shrinkage, con- 
joined with a certain amount of molecular aggregation or crystal- 
lizing influence. — (Proceedings of the Royal Society, Edinburgh.} 

9. Almaden Mine, California. — The process of extracting the 
metal from the ore is very simple. The ore is placed in the fur- 
naces, where a gentle and regular heat is applied. As it diffuses 
itself through the ore, the quicksilver contained in it sublimes, and 
is afterwards condensed, and falls by its own weight, trickles down 
and out at little pipes leading from the bottom of the cham- 
bers of the furnace, and empties into vessels so situated as to re- 
ceive it. From these pipes we saw the quicksilver falling more or 
less rapidly in large drops. In one vessel there must have been 
from 15 to 20 gallons of quicksilver. About 1000 flasks per 
month are manufactured, each flask containing 75 pounds, making 
75,000 pounds per month. The flasks are all of wrought iron. 
The time occupied in filling the furnace, and extracting all the 
metal from a furnace full of ore, is about one week. When this 
is accomplished, the furnace is opened that the mass of rock may 
be removed to make way for another batch of ore. — (American 
Journal of Science and Arts, vol. xvi., No. 46, 2d Series, p. 137.) 

Scientific Intelligence — Meteorology. 365 


10. An Account of Meteorological Observations in four Balloon 
Ascents made under the direction of the Kew Observatory Committee 
of the British Association ; by John Welsh, Esq. Communi- 
cated by Colonel Sabine, R.A., Treas. V.P.R.S., President of the 
British Association, on part of the Council of the Association. 
— The object contemplated by the Kew Committee in the balloon 
ascents, of which an account is given in this communication, was 
chiefly the investigation of the variations of temperature and 
humidity due to elevation above the earth's surface. Specimens 
of the air at different heights were also obtained for analysis. 

The instruments employed were the barometer, dry and wet 
bulb hygrometer, and Regnault's condensing hygrometer. 

The barometer was a siphon, on Gay-Lussac's construction, with- 
out verniers ; the upper branch of the siphon being alone observed, 
corrections having been previously determined for inequality of the 
tube at different heights of the mercury. 

Two pairs of dry and wet thermometers were used, one pair hav- 
ing their bulbs protected from radiation by double conical shades 
open at top and bottom for the circulation of the air, the surfaces 
being of polished silver. The second pair were so arranged, that 
by means of an " aspirator," a current of air was made to pass 
over the bulbs more rapid than they would be exposed to by the 
mere vertical motion of the balloon. The object of this arrange- 
ment was to enable the thermometers to assume with more rapidity 
the temperature of the surrounding air, and also to diminish the 
effect of radiation, in case the shades should not be a sufficient 
protection, especially when the balloon was stationary or ris- 
ing very slowly. The thermometers used were very delicate, 
the bulbs being cylinders about half an inch long and not more 
than tVth of an inch diameter. It was found on trial that when 
the bulbs were heated 20° above the temperature of the air in a 
room, they resumed their original reading in 40 or 45 seconds, 
when moved through the air at the rate of 5 or 6 feet in a second. 
It is thus probable that any error arising from want of sensibility 
in the thermometers will be small, and in all likelihood not more 
than may be expected from other accidental causes. 

The observations were taken at short intervals during the ascent, 
it having been seldom»practicable to obtain a regular series in the 
descent. The intervals were generally one minute, but frequently 
only 30 seconds, so that an observation was for the most part re- 
corded every 200 or 300 feet. All the observations are given in 
detail in the tables accompanying the paper. They are also given 
in the graphical form in the curves. 

The ascents took place on August 17, August 26, October 21, 
and November 10, 1852, from the Vauxhall Gardens, with Mr 
C. Green's large balloon. 

366 Scientific Intelligence — Meteorology. 

The principal results of the observations may be briefly stated 
as follows : — 

Each of the four series of observations shews, that the progress 
of the temperature is not regular at all heights, but that at a cer- 
tain height (varying on different days) the regular diminution be- 
comes arrested, and for the space of about 2000 feet the tempera- 
ture remains constant or even increases by a small amount : it 
afterwards resumes its downward course, continuing for the most 
part to diminish regularly throughout the remainder of the height 
observed. There is thus, in the curves representing the progres- 
sion of temperature with height, an appearance of dislocation, 
always in the same direction, but varying in amount from 7° to 12°. 
In the first two series, viz. Aug. 17 and 26, this peculiar inter- 
ruption of the progress of temperature is strikingly coincident with 
a large and rapid fall in the temperature of the devj-point. The 
same is exhibited in a less marked manner on Nov. 10. On Oct. 
21 a dense cloud existed at a height of about 3000 feet ; the tem- 
perature decreased uniformly from the earth up to the lower sur- 
face of the cloud, when a slight rise commenced, the rise continu- 
ing through the cloud, and to about 600 feet above its upper sur- 
face, when the regular descending progression was resumed. At 
a short distance above the cloud the dew-point fell considerably, 
but the rate of diminution of temperature does not appear to have 
been affected in this instance in the same manner as in the other 
series ; the phenomenon so strikingly shewn in the other three 
cases being perhaps modified by the existence of moisture in a 
condensed or vesicular form. 

It would appear on the whole that about the principal plane of 
condensation heat is developed in the atmosphere, which has the 
effect of raising the temperature of the higher air above what it 
would have been had the rate of decrease continued uniformly from 
the earth upwards. 

There are several instances of a second or even a third sudden 
fall in the dew-point, but any corresponding variation in the tempera- 
ture is not so clearly exhibited, probably owing to the total amount 
of moisture in the air being, at low temperatures, so very small 
that even a considerable change in its relative amount would pro- 
duce but a small thermal effect. 

As the existence of the disturbance in the regular progression of 
temperature now stated rendered it neccessary, in order to arrive 
at any approximate value of the normal rate of diminution with 
height, to make abstraction of the portion affected by the disturbing 
cause, each series was divided into two sections, the first comprising 
the space below the stratum in which the irregularity existed, and 
the second commencing from the point where the regular diminu- 
tion of temperature was resumed. It was then found that the 
rate of diminution was nearly uniform within each section, but that 
it was b me what greater in the lower than in the upper sections'. 

Scientific Intelligence — Meteorology. 367 

On taking a mean of both sections for each series, giving each 
section a value corresponding to its extent, it is found that the 
number of feet of height corresponding to a fall of one degree Fahr- 
enheit is- — 

On August 17 292-0 feet. 

August 26 290-7 „ 

October 21 291-4 „ 

November 10 312-0 „ 

The first three values being remarkably coincident, and the last 
differing from them by about T Vth of the whole. 

The air collected in the ascents was analysed by Dr Miller ; he 
states that "the specimens of air do not differ in any important 
amount from that at the earth at the same time, but contain a trifle 
less oxygen. All of them contained a trace of carbonic acid, but 
the quantity was too small for accurate measurement upon the small 
amount of air collected."- — (Proceedings of the Royal Society of 

11. Influence of Light upon the Colour of the Prawn. — A few 
hours' captivity changes all the colours of the prawn ; all the fine 
bands and stripes and spots become so pale as to be scarcely dis- 
tinguishable from the general pellucid olive hue of the body. 

I cannot tell how this loss of colour is effected, but I have 
reason to think that light, the great agent in producing colour, in 
most cases is the cause. I took two specimens just dipped from 
a deep pool, and equal in richness of their contrasted colours : one 
of these I placed in a large glass vase of sea- water that stood on 
my study table ; the other in a similar vase shut up in a dark 
closet. In twenty-four hours the one that had been exposed to 
the light had taken on the pale appearance just alluded to : the 
one that had been in darkness had scarcely lost any of the richness 
of its bands and stripes, though the general olive hue of the body 
had become darker and of a brown tint. This individual, how- 
ever, assumed the appearance of the former before it had been an 
hour emancipated from its dark closet. Without attempting to 
account for the phenomenon, I would just advert to the parallel 
exhibited by the sea-weed. The brilliant colours displayed by 
many of these exist, as is well known, in the greatest perfection, 
when the plants grow at considerable depths, or in the caves and 
holes of the rocks, where light can but dimly penetrate. 

Some of these will not grow at all in shallow water, or in a full 
light, and those that can bear such circumstances are commonly 
affected by them in a very marked degree — marked by the degene- 
racy of their forms, and by the loss of their brilliancy of colour. 
The prawn, as I have already hinted, delights in the obscurity of 
deep holes and rocky pools ; it is here alone that his fine zebra-like 
colours are developed. When taken in shallow pools, he is of the 

368 Scientific Intelligence — Zoology. 

plain olive-yellow tint of the specimen that had spent four and 
twenty hours on my table. — [A Naturalist's Rambles on the Devon- 
shire Coast, by P. H. Gorre, p. 42.) 

1 2. Coralline Light. — The common coralline, if held to the flame 
of a candle, burns with a most vivid white light. If we take a 
shoot and let it dry, and then present the tips to the flame, just at 
the very edge, not putting them into the fire, the ends of the shoot 
will become red first, snapping and flying offwith a crackling noise ; 
some, however, will retain their integrity, and these will presently 
become white hot, and glow with an intensity of light most beauti- 
ful and dazzling, as long as they remain at the very edge of the 
flame ; for the least removal of the coralline, either by pulling it 
away, or by pushing it in, destroys the whiteness. It will however 
return when again brought to the edge. The same tips will dis- 
play the phenomenon as often as you please. I did not find the 
incrusting lamina that spreads over the rock before the shoots 
rise, shew the light so well as the shoots. 

The brilliant light obtained by directing a stream of oxygen gas 
upon a piece of lime in a state of combustion occurred to my mind 
as a parallel fact, and I experimented with other forms of the 
same substance. The polypidoms of Cellularia avicularia, and of 
Eueratea chelata, one of the stony plates of Caryophyllia, and a 
fragment of oyster shell, I successively placed in the flame, and 
all gave out the dazzling white light exactly as the coralline had 
done. The horny polypidom of a Sertularia, on the other hand, 
shrivelled to a cinder. — [A Naturalist's Rambles on the Devonshire 
Coast, by P. H. Gorre, p. 226.) 

13. Aurora Borealis. — Mr W. J. M. Rankine announces, that 
he has on several nights examined the light of the aurora borealis 
with a Nichol's prism, and has never detected any trace of polar- 
ization. The same light reflected from the surface of a river was 
polarized, shewing that his failing to detect polarization in the 
direct light of the aurora was not owing to its faintness. This fact 
is adverse to the idea that the light of the aurora is reflected light. 
— (American Journal of Science and Arts, vol. xvi., 2d Series, 
No. 46, p. 148.) 


9. On the Structure and Economy of Tethea, and on an unde- 
scribed species from the Spitzbergen Seas ; by Professor Goodsir. — 
The author, after a brief summary of the observations of Donati, M. 
Edwards, Forbes, Johnston, and Huxley, on various species of 
Tethea. described the structure, and deduced the probable economy 
of a large species apparently undescribed, some specimens of 
which he had procured from the Spitzbergen Seas. 

Scientific Intelligence — Zoology. 369 

The following peculiarities of form and structure were minutely 
detailed and illustrated : — 

1st, The turbinated form of the sponge. 

2d, The partial distribution of the rind. 

'3d, The minute pores of the rind, arranged in threes ; a pore in 
each of the angles, formed by the primary branches of the six- 
radiate spicula. 

4th, The water, instead of passing out by oscula, drains through 
a perforated or network membrane which lines a number of irre- 
gularly tortuous grooves on the surface of the attached hemi- 
sphere of the sponge, — the grooves being continuous with deep 
fissures, which extend into the rind, and are apparently the result 
of distension from internal growth. 

6th, The silicious spicula are arranged according to the type of 
the skeleton in the other Tethese. Elongated, slightly bent or 
twisted rod-like spicula, are combined in bundles by means of 
fibrous substance, and a few boomerang-shaped spicula, laid cross- 
ways. These bundles are arranged irregularly in the centre of 
the sponge, so as to form a nucleus from which radiating masses 
extend outwards to the rind, or beyond the surface, where the 
rind is deficient. The spicula of the rind are large and six-radiate. 
Their shafts are deeply and firmly inserted into the radiating 
bundles. Their three primary branches are set at angles of 120° 
to the shaft, and to one another. The two secondary branches at 
the extremity of each primary branch are long-pointed, slightly 
concave towards the centre of the sponge, and set at an angle of 
90° to one another. 

6th, The fleshy mass which envelopes the spicular bundles in the 
interior of the sponge, consists of — 1. Ordinary sponge particles; 
2. Caudate particles, probably similar to the Spermatozoa de- 
scribed and figured by Mr Huxley in an Australian Tethea ; 3. 
Ova- like masses, the largest of which envelope a radiating arrange- 
ment of anchor-like spicula ; 4. Towards, and in the rind, elon- 
gated cellules, apparently fibrous and muscular, the fibrous con- 
necting the spicula, and with the nucleated muscular cellules ar- 
ranged transversely as figured by Donati. 

7th, From the structure of Tethea, as well as from the obser- 
vations of Donati and M. Edwards, this group of sponges would 
appear to possess considerable contractility. — (Proceedings of the 
Royal Society of Edinburgh?) 

15. Hungarian Nightingale. — Last autumn I brought from the 
neighbourhood of Hungary, says Dr Martin Barry, a nightingale, 
Sylvia Philomela. It wintered in Scotland, I will venture to say the 
only one there ; and then, after two months of powerful and most 
delicious song in its cage, it died. 

16. M. Quatref ages' Method for destroying Insects. — The 
Termes lucifugum is well known for its ravages. It has been 

VOL. LV NO. CX. — OCTOBER 1853. 2 A 

370 Scientific Intelligence — Botany. 

mmv destructive about the villages of Saintes, Tonnay-Charente, 
and Rochefort. Roofs and floors are often completely riddled in 
these villages by these animals so feeble in appearance ; and even 
entire houses have been so destroyed in their foundations, that 
they had to be abandoned or rebuilt. The danger from these de- 
predations is the greater, that they work altogether out of sight, 
and respect with extreme care the surface of the bodies they at- 
tack. The archives of Rochelle for certain years have been com- 
pletely devoured by the termites (excepting the outer surface, 
which leaves no evidence of the destruction within), and of recent 
years they have been inclosed in zinc. At La Rochelle the inva- 
sion has even extended to the arsenal and the prefecture, and the 
whole village is threatened. 

M. de Quatrefages has made some experiments which solve 
the problem of their destruction. He has shewn that the gases 
which are most energetic are chlorine and nitrous vapour, N0 4 ; 
sulphurous acid is less active, and oxide of nitrogen, N0 2 , acts 
only when it can be transformed into hyponitric acid, under the in- 
fluence of a little oxygen. The gases have been made to act on 
fragments of wood infested with the termites, and have so pene- 
trated into the deeper termitic cellules that none have escaped. 

As the application of gas in many cases must be inconvenient, 
it is recommended to prepare the wood before employing it in con- 
struction. The method hitherto employed for preserving woods 
have had reference rather to protection against decay than insects. 
There is an exception in the process of Bethell, which consists in 
saturating the wood with a bituminous oil rich in naphthaline, a 
material proceeding from the distillation of the bitumen of coal. 
The cross timbers of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, pre- 
pared in this way ten years since, are still untouched ; and the 
same is true of the timbers of part of the London and North- 
western Railway. At the port of Lowestoft, the naphthalized 
tiles are wholly exempt from the attacks of insects, while wood 
unprepared is more or less deeply eaten. The disastrous results 
mentioned by M. de Quatrefages will not fail to call attention to 
this process, which has been sometimes objected to on account of 
its making the wood more combustible. — (American Journal of 
Science and Arts, vol. xvi., No. 46, p. 107, 2d Series.) 


17. Experimental Researches on Vegetation; by M. George 
Ville. Communicated by the Earl of Rosse, P.R.S. — After stat- 
ing that it has often been asked if air, and especially azote, 
contributes to the nutrition of plants ; and, as regards the latter, 
that this question has always been answered negatively, the author 
remarks, it is however known that plants do not draw all their 

Scientific Intelligence — Botany. 371 

azote from the soil, the crops produced every year in manured 
land giving a greater proportion of azote than is contained in the 
soil itself. The question which he has proposed to himself for so- 
lution is, whence then comes the excess of azote which the crops 
contain, and in a more general manner, the azote of plants, which 
the soil has not furnished % He divides his inquiry into the three 
following parts : — 

First, Inquiry into and determination of the proportion of the 
ammonia contained in the air of the atmosphere. 

Second, Is the azote of the air absorbed by plants ? 

Third, Influence on vegetation of ammonia added to the air. 

1st, The author remarks that, since the observation of M. Theo- 
dore de Saussure, that the air is mixed with ammoniacal vapours, 
three attempts have been made to determine the proportion of am- 
monia in the air : a million of kilogrammes of the air, according to 
M. Grayer, contain 0-333 kil. A2H 3 ; according to Mr Kemp 3 880 
kil. ; according to M. Fresenius, of the air of the day, 0-098 kil., 
and of night air, 0-169 kil. He states that he has shewn the 
cause of these discrepancies, and proved that the quantity of am- 
monia contained in the air is 22*417 grms. for a million of kilo- 
grammes of the air ; and that the quantity oscillates between 17*14 
grms. and 29*43 grms. 

2d, The author states that though the azote of the air is absorbed 
by plants, the ammonia of the air contributes nothing to this ab- 
sorption. Not that ammonia is not an auxiliary of vegetation, 
but the air contains scarcely 0' 0000000224, and in this propor- 
tion its effects are inappreciable. These conclusions are founded 
upon a great number of experiments in which the plants lived at 
the expense of the air without deriving anything from the soil. 
For the present he confines himself to laying down these two con- 
clusions : — 1. The azote of the air is absorbed by plants, by the 
cereals, as by all others. 2. The ammonia of the atmosphere 
performs no appreciable part in the life of plants, when vegetation 
takes place in a limited atmosphere. After describing the ap- 
paratus by means of which he carried on his experiments on the 
vegetation of plants placed in a soil deprived of organic matter, 
and the manner in which the experiments were conducted, he ad- 
duces the results of these experiments in proof of the above con- 

3c?, With reference to the influence of ammonia on vegetation, the 
author states, that if ammonia be added to the air, vegetation be- 
comes remarkably active. In the proportion of 4 ten-thousandths 
the influence of this gas shews itself at the end of eight or ten days, 
and from this time it manifests itself with a continually increasing 
intensity. The leaves, which at first were of a pale-green, assume 
a deeper and deeper tint, and for a time become almost black ; their 
petals are long and Upright, and their surface wide and shining. In 

372 Scientific Intelligence — Miscellaneous. 

short, when vegetation has arrived at its proper period the crop is 
found far beyond that of the same plants grown in pure air ; and, 
weight for weight, they contain twice as much azote. Besides these 
general effects there are others which are more variable, which de- 
pend upon particular conditions, but which are equally worthy of 
interest. In fact, by means of ammonia we can not only stimulate 
vegetation, but, further, we can modify its course, delay the action 
of certain functions, or enlarge the development and the modifica- 
tion of certain organs. The author further remarks, that if its 
use be ill-directed, it may cause accidents. Those which have oc- 
curred in the course of his experiments appear to him to throw 
an unexpected light upon the mechanism of the nutrition of plants. 
They have at least taught him at the expense of what care am- 
monia may become an auxiliary of vegetation. These experi- 
ments, which were made under the same conditions as those upon 
the absorption of azote, are then described, and their numerical re- 
sults given. 

To the conclusions already stated, the author adds that there 
are periods to be selected for the employment of ammonia, during 
which this gas produces different effects. If we commence its use 
when several months intervene before the flowering season of the 
plants, it produces no disturbance ; they follow the ordinary course 
of their vegetation. If its use be commenced at the time of flower- 
ing, this function is stopped or delayed. The plant covers it- 
self with leaves, and if the flowering takes places all the flowers are 
barren. — (Proceedings of the Royal Society of London?) 


18. On Extinguishing Fires by Steam. — After the burning of the 
Amazon, Henry Clay, and M. Dujardin of Lille, recalled the fact that 
in 1837 it was proposed to employ steam for extinguishing fires; 
as was also mentioned by M. Fourneyron soon after the disaster of 
the Amazon. It may be added that the process proposed by M. 
Dujardin has been tried with full success during a fire that occurred 
in the galvano-plastic workshops of MM. Christoffe at Paris. The 
fire had already made great progress, and threatened a complete 
destruction of the buildings before aid could be had. At this 
crisis, some one present suggested the idea of opening the valve 
of the boiler which feeds the engine, and immediately the steam 
penetrated through the workshops, the fire was seen to diminish, 
and soon w r as reduced to so trifling an extent, that it was easily 
mastered when aid arrived. 

This fact cannot have too great publicity ; and it is especially 
important that manufacturers, captains of vessels, and superinten- 
dents of workshops, should be familiar witli it. — (American Jour- 
nal of Science and A rts.) 


Africa, South, Mr Livingston's researches in, 164. 

Agassiz, Professor, recent researches on fishes, by, 295. 

Agate, the structure of, described, 359. 

Almaden Mine, California, 364. 

Animal and vegetable fibre, remarks on, 317. 

Animals, colour of, by Professor Agassiz, 192. 

Animals and plants, transition from one to the other, 290. 

Arctic currents, remarks on, 292. 

Expeditions, observations on, by Augustus Petermann, 159. 

Arragonite, formation of, 190. 
Aurora borealis, the light of, noticed, 

Barry, Dr Martin, on animal and vegetable fibre, 317. On the 

penetration of spermatozoa into the interior of the ovum, 326. 

Researches in embryology, by, 327. On the Hungarian 

nightingale, 369. 
Biography of Baron Leopold von Buch, 1, 
Black, W., Esq., the South African Fish River Bush described by, 

72, 195. 
Boue, M. Ami, on the palseohydrography and orography of the 

earth's surface, 298. 
Brochantite, formation of, 190. 
Brodie, Sir Benjamin, the Anniversary Address to the Ethnological 

Society of London by, 352. 
Buch, Baron Leopold von, Noggerath's biography of, 1. 
Bunsen, Professor, remarks on volcanoes, by, 276. 

Cairo, a mineral water discovered near, described by Leonard Horner, 

Esq., 284. 
Calc spar, formation of, 190. 

Cave, Mammoth, of Kentucky, description of, 119. 
Chambers, Robert, Esq., on the eyeless animals of the Mammoth 

Cave of Kentucky, 107. 
Cleavage, the origin of, by H. Clifton Sorby, 137. 

Dalton, Dr J. C, an account of the Proteus anguiuus, by, 352. 
Dalzell Dr Allen, on the colour of hair, 329. 

374 Index* 

Dana, James D., on the eruption of Mauna Loa, 111. On the 
changes of level in the Pacific Ocean, 240. On the question, 
whether temperature determines the distribution of marine 
species of animals in depth, 267. 

Davy, Dr, observations on fish, in relation to diet, by, 225. 

Daubeny, Dr, on volcanoes, 276, 

Delesse, A., researches on granite, by, 341. 

Diopside, furnace product, 189. 

Dove, Professor II. W., on the annual variation of atmospheric 
pressure in different parts of the globe, 123. 

Dumont, M., on the classification of rocks, 272. 

Earth, the mean density of its superficial crust, by M. Plana, 152. 

Embryology, researches in, 327. 

Ethnological Society of London, anniversary address of, delivered by 

Sir Benjamin Brodie, 352. 
Evaporation and condensation noticed, 187. 

Fish River Bush, South Africa, a description of, by Staff Assistant- 
Surgeon Dr Black, 72, 195. 

Fleming, Professor, on the structure of rocks, 363. 

Forbes, David, Esq., on the determination of copper and nickel in 
quantitative analysis, 131. 

i Professor Edward, on the mollusca of the British seas, 69. 

On some new points in British geology, 263. 

Fossil bones of Nebraska, analysis of, 109. 

Frog, the discovery of, in New Zealand, by Dr Thomson, 66. 

Geology, some new points in British, determined by Professor Ed- 
ward Forbes, 263. 

Gerard, Alexander, Esq., on pendulum observations, 14. 

Glacial action in North Wales, by Sir Walter C. Trevelyan, 193. 

Glass, crystallization of, 189. 

Globe, crystalline form of, by M. de Hauslab, 165. 

, its dimensions and figure, by Colonel Sabine, 148. 

Goodsir, Professor, on the structure and economy of the Tethea, and 
an undescribed species from the Spitzbergen seas, 368. 

Granite, researches in, 343. 

Glauberite, from South Peru, described, 358. 

Giimbel, Theodore, Esq., on the structure of agate, 359. 

Hair, colour of, noticed, 329. 

Hauslab, M. De, on the crystalline form of the globe, 165. 

Horner, Leonard, Esq., on the discovery and analysis of a medicinal 

mineral water at Ilelwan, near Cairo, 284. 
Huxley, Thomas II., Esq., on the identity of structure of plants and 

animals, 234. 

Index. 375 

Insects, a new method for destroying them, 369. 
Iron, meteoric, Wohler on the passive state of, 188. 
Iron, Native Metallic, 358. 
Light, Coralline, 368. 

Light, influence of, on the colour of the Prawn, 368. 
Lunar atmospheric tide, 186. 

Lyell, Sir Charles, on fossil reptilian remains in the coal-measures 
of Nova Scotia, 215. 

Malachite, formation of, 190. Artificial formation of, 190. 

Mammalia, classification of, by Charles Girard, Esq., 167. 

Matlockite, a new mineral species, described, 362. 

Mauna Loa, James D. Dana, on the eruption of, 111. 

Maury, Lieutenant, new views on navigation improvement, 154. 

Meteorological observations made at Cumberland in 1852, 17. 

Miller, J. F., Meteorological observations made by, at Cumberland 

in 1852, 17. On a singular irridescent phenomenon seen on 

Windermere lake, 83. 
Minerals, paragenetic relations of, 85, 345. 
Mollusca of the British seas, noticed by Professor Edward Forbes, 


Navigation, Lieutenant Maury's new views of improvement in, 154. 

Ocean, changes of level of, in the Pacific, by J. D. Dana, 240. 
Omerod, G. Wareing, Esq., on pseudomorphous crystals of chloride 

of sodium, 360. 
Oxygen, amount of, in the world, 187. 

Pendulum observations, by Alexander Gerard, 14. 

Petermann, Augustus, Esq., on the Arctic relief expeditions, 159. 

Phosphorescence, causes of, 274. 

Plana, M., Esq., on the mean density of the superficial crust of the 

earth, 152. 
Plants and animals, identity of their structure noticed by T. H. 

Huxley, Esq., 234. 

sleep of, in the Arctic regions, 191. 

Pressure, atmospheric, the annual variation in different parts of the 

globe, 123. 
Proteus anguinus, some account of, 322. 

Quatrefages, M., on a new method for destroying destructive in- 
sects, 369. 

Rain-gauge, different varieties of, described by Mr Straton, 36. 

376 Index. 

Rammelsberg, Prof. C, on matlockite, a new mineral species, 362. 
Remains, fossil reptilian, found in the coal-measures of Nova Scotia, 

described by Sir Charles Lyell, 215. 
Rhind, William, Esq., on the laws which regulate the distribution 

of rivers, 56. 
Rivers, the laws which regulate the distribution of, by W. H. Rhind, 

Rocks, classification of, 272. 
structure of, 363. 

Sabine, Colonel, on the figure and dimensions of the globe, 148. 

Scleretinite, a new fossil resin, noticed, 359. 

Secchi, Professor, on the distribution of heat at the surface of the 
sun, 150. On lunar volcanoes, 161. 

Smyth, W. W., Esq., on pseudomorphous crystals of chloride of so- 
dium, 361. 

Sodium, chloride, pseudomorphous crystals of,; 361. 

Solar spots, periodic return of, 186. 

Sorby, H. Clifton, Esq., on the origin of slaty cleavage, 137. 

Spermatozoa, the penetration of, into the interior of the ovum, 326. 

Straton, James, Esq., on the rain-gauge, 36. 

Sun, distribution of heat at its surface, 150. Relation between the 
spots on, and the magnetic needle, 186. 

Sutherland, Dr, remarks on currents in the Arctic seas by, 292. 

Steam, extinguishing of fires by, 372. 

Thomson, Dr A. S., on the discovery of a frog in New Zealand, 66. 
Trevelyan, Sir Walter C, on the indications of glacial action in 

North Wales, 193. 
Tsetse or zimb of South Africa, described, 192. 

Ulex, M., on glauberite, 358. 

Vegetation, experimental researches on, 370. 

Ville, George, Esq., experimental researches on vegetation by, 370. 
Volcanoes, lunar, a description of, by Professor Secchi, 161. 
remarks on, by Dr Daubeny and Professor Bunsen, 276. 

Windermere Lake, a singular irridescent phenomenon on, by Mr 
Miller, 83. 


NlTLi & Co., Printers, Edinburgh. 



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